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Montana governor touts low unemployment in economic report

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is touting the state's low unemployment rate as his administration releases its annual Labor Day report on the economy.
    
The report released Tuesday highlights Montana's 4.1 percent unemployment rate in 2016, its $3.2 billion manufacturing sector and its relatively high number of entrepreneurs.
    
Bullock said in a news conference the unemployment rate is ideal and more Montanans are working than ever before.
    
Outgoing Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy repeated past years' warnings that Montana's aging workforce will mean labor shortages without trained younger workers.
    
The Bullock administration has encouraged job training through apprenticeships in fields such as manufacturing.
    
The rosy economic picture in the report is somewhat dampened by an upcoming round of budget cuts meant to fill a projected $227 million shortfall in state government.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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