Big Sky Roundup

Gianforte exceeds goal of adding 10,000 good-paying job to economy in 2021

By: - July 27, 2022 6:46 pm

Gov. Greg Gianforte spoke about challenges and opportunities for bipartisanship at the University of Montana for the Mansfield Dialogues. (Provided by Andy Kemmis of the University of Montana)

Gov. Greg Gianforte has exceeded his goal of adding 10,000 jobs that pay more than $50,000 to the state’s economy in 2021, according to a press release from his office.

Data from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry showed the state added just less than 13,000 jobs paying more than $50,000 in 2021, according to the release.

“From Day One, I set an ambitious goal for job creation across Montana, and I’m pleased to announce we’ve not only met that goal, but also exceeded it by nearly 30%,” Gianforte said in the release.

DLI analysis of unemployment insurance payroll records indicated the state ended the fourth quarter of 2021 with 145,462 jobs paying over $50,000 a year, a gain of 12,982 jobs from the end of 2020. And much of the good-paying job growth came in the second and fourth quarters of 2021, with gains of 5,400 jobs and 5,335 jobs, respectively. The overall share of jobs in Montana paying over $50,000 per year also increased slightly, from 24.4% to 25.5%, per the release.

“We got there by cutting red tape and other unnecessary burdens on job creators, attracting new cutting-edge businesses to bring good-paying jobs to Montana, and investing in our workforce to ensure Montana workers have the skills they need,” Gianforte said. “We’re just getting started, and we’ll stay focused on creating more good-paying jobs and greater opportunity for all Montanans.”

However, according to the release, DLI’s data slightly undercounted the total jobs added for a variety of reasons.

First, the department calculated the figures by counting worker earnings from the same employer over the past four quarters. For example, if a worker earning wages more than $50,000 a year switches employers, they would drop out of the wage count until their earnings exceeded $50,000 from their new employer. Second, the data did not include the self-employed, independent contractors, and other workers that do not report into the UI system, according to the release.

“Despite these strong results, better is always possible – which is why I’ve set a goal of another 10,000 new jobs paying over $50,000 a year for 2022. This will require a continued focus on fostering a climate of job creation, continuing to build our pipeline of skilled workers, and tackling issues like housing affordability that can stand in the way of new job creation. I’m confident 2022 will be another year of strong job growth for Montana workers,” Gianforte said.

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Keith Schubert
Keith Schubert

Keith Schubert is a reporter for the Daily Montanan. Keith was born and raised in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2019. He has worked at the St.Paul Pioneer Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and most recently, the Asbury Park Press, covering everything from local craft fairs to crime and courts to municipal government to the Minnesota state legislature. In his free time, he enjoys cheering on Wisconsin sports teams and exploring small businesses. He can be reached by text or call at 406-475-2954 .