MISSOULA — Missoula County is leading the state in job growth according to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry -- and one of the fastest growing industries may surprise you.
The county has the highest job growth rate thanks to a variety of factors including great economic leadership and business innovators -- all homegrown here at the University of Montana.
"I think it's the fundamentals of our economy right now. We have great leaders in our businesses. We have abundant talent coming out of our university and people who live here with these are really exceptional partnerships," Missoula Economic Partnership CEO Grant Kier said. "I think between the public and private sector making smart investments in growth."
Job growth is coming in a variety of fields, including healthcare, construction and manufacturing. One sector that is seeing steady growth is the tech sector.
Now, people who were once moving on to chase their dreams can achieve this same level of success staying home in Big Sky Country.
"We're actually seeing great organic growth around the tech sector here. People who have come out of the university or grew up here and have wanted to start companies...and want to build their companies here in Missoula," Kier said.
"We're seeing that growth happen a sort of unprecedented scale. It's opening up job opportunities for people who I think want those jobs and no longer have to move to the coast to get them," he added.
Along with job growth, wages have also gone up in Missoula County and officials say the combination of the two increases really show that the Garden City has a healthy growing economy.
"We're also excited by the numbers that we're seeing coming out of wage growth. So right now, we're seeing a 3.5% wage growth year over year which on average...which is beating inflation and that's fantastic," Kier told MTN News.
"So we're really pleased to see both the number of jobs but the quality of pay that we're seeing increasing in our community," he concluded.