Press Release|

KALISPELL — The Montana Chamber Foundation and the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) wrapped up the 14th Annual Economic Update Series in Kalispell. As in past years, the Economic Update included its traditional state and national economic projections. This year’s theme, ‘The Silver Tsunami: Are Montana’s Businesses Ready?’ focused on the impact of Montana’s aging and migrating workforce.

“Workforce development is a major issue for business in every sector,” said Todd O’Hair, executive director of the Montana Chamber Foundation. “As Montana’s population ages, the strains on our labor pool will be felt even more. The Montana Chamber and Montana Chamber Foundation are prepared to lead the business community in identifying specific solutions to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.”

Some of the takeaways included:

Montana is the oldest Western state, with a median age in 2017 of 39.8
While the median age in urban counties like Gallatin and Missoula are 33.4 and 35.4, Montana’s rural communities have median ages as high as in the 50s
Growth in nonfarm earnings in Montana are projected to fall from 2019-22
Billings and non-urban counties are performing well through 2019Q1

“The Montana economy has participated in the stronger economic growth experienced nationally. Growth has continued since 2016, labor markets are getting tighter, and state revenue growth has been healthy. An under-reported good news story has been the growth of tech. On the other hand, the negative developments for Powder River Basin coal producers present significant challenges.”

For more information about the Montana Chamber Foundation or the Economic Update Series, visit



Our mission is to educate Montanans about the fundamentals of business operations, business needs and responsibilities and contributions of business to society.
The Foundation promotes and improves the economic development opportunities of the state and its communities by participating in educational projects and research.
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For Immediate Release
Aug. 1, 2019
Media Contact: Communications Director Alexandria Klapmeier
(C) 406-437-4634 or [email protected]

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