Workforce Shortage Continues in Flathead County

As baby boomers transition into retirement and new job markets evolve in a strong economy, Montana is following the nationwide trend of a workforce shortage.

With Montana’s jobless rate at 3.4% as of December 2019, just below the national average of 3.5%, employers are struggling to fill job vacancies due to a low unemployment rate, skillset mismatches and demographic and generational changes, according to economists who spoke at a Feb. 11 seminar in Kalispell by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER).

“You might think that having too many jobs and not enough workers is a good problem to have, and it is a good problem to have,” said Patrick Barkey, the director of the BBER. “But it’s a problem nonetheless.”