The economy continues to grow in Montana. Between 2003 and 2005, 15,000 jobs were created. Earnings for the same period were up 1.9%. The unemployment for 2005 was 4% statewide. In July of 2006 it dropped to 3.8% statewide, which is a full percent under the national average.
Education is important for residents of Montana. In their 854 schools, they spend $7,739 per student every year. The report card for 2003 had 81% of 4th graders passing math requirements and 79% of 8th graders passing. Testing in 2005 showed 85% of 4th graders passing and 80% of 8th graders passing. The graduation rate is 87.2%.