HELENA — Montana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 4.2 percent in July while the national rate held at 4.9 percent.

The state Labor Department says the total number of employed Montanans remained above 501,000 in July. Employment data for the first three months of 2016 suggests payroll employment has grown by 1.8 percent over the previous year, an addition of over 7,700 jobs.

Food services, health care and retail trade have added over 1,400 jobs over the past year, offsetting losses in the mining industry.

Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy said Friday that much of the recent growth in Montana's employment has occurred in the more populated regions of the state and has been driven by consumer-based industries.

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