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Montana's unemployment rate falls to 4.2 percent in December for 1-point decline in 2014

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HELENA, Montana — Montana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent in December, marking a full 1 percentage point decrease in 2014.

Gov. Steve Bullock says 2014 likely was one of the strongest years for the state economy.

Montana's total employment level increased by 829 jobs in December, with 12,633 jobs added since December 2013. The preliminary numbers indicate a job growth of 2.6 percent for 2014.

Payroll employment — which excludes agricultural and self-employed workers — added 3,100 jobs last month, with large gains in the construction industry.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in December.

The Consumer Price Index fell by 0.4 percent last month due to a drop in fuel prices.

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