Drivers of economic activity in Flathead County.
UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research

Health care has emerged as a major driver of the Flathead Valley economy, researchers from the University of Montana and local experts said Tuesday. MTPR's Nicky Ouellet reports from the 2018 Economic Outlook Seminar in Kalispell.

Patrick Barkey, director of the BBER, presenting the 2018 Montana Economic report in Helena, Tuesday, January 23, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

University of Montana researchers expect the state’s economy to kick up this year, following a lackluster performance in 2016 and 2017.

Although earnings in Montana grew over the last two years, those earnings fell short of projections made by researchers at UM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

Thompson Falls resident Amanda Childers testified before a legislative committee Thursday about how the job training component of Montana's expanded Medicaid program put her on a path to a career in health care.
Eric Whitney

Last week the Trump administration made a historic change to Medicaid, the health coverage program that’s jointly funded by the states and federal government. For the first time, states were given the OK to require Medicaid recipients to work in exchange for health coverage.

Republican lawmakers tried to do that in Montana 2015, but the Obama administration said no.

Montana unemployment rate, November 2017.
Montana Department of Labor and Industry

Montana’s unemployment rate has held steady for most of 2017, and November was no exception. The state's unemployment rate stood at 4 percent last month.

Barbara Wagner, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry’s Chief Economist, says the state’s economy is strong.

Three bills aimed at helping Indian tribes passed the Senate yesterday, and one of them is going to President Donald Trump’s desk. All three were sponsored by Democratic Senator Jon Tester.