It's the last big weekend of the summer.

As Labor Day approaches and we get ready to celebrate a three-day weekend and say goodbye to summer, it's time to reflect.  Labor Day has been around since 1882 and was established to celebrate the worker.  Of course, as time has passed, we focus more on going to the lake, eating, drinking, and spending time with family and friends.

Being curious by nature, I started to wonder what Montanans do for work. What are the leading industries when it comes to Montana employment?

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According to World Atlas, the top industries for employment in Montana are agriculture and forestry. The report says Montana has about 28 thousand farms across the state covering almost 60 million acres that are used for agriculture. Forestry is big in the western part of the state, with over 13 million acres of timber.

Tractor in a field on a rural Maryland farm at sunset with sun rays

Next up, healthcare.

The healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the state with right around 70 thousand Montanans working in the field. In fact, future projection models suggest that those looking to get into a career with good pay and a high probability of advancement might consider getting into the healthcare field.

The energy industry is big in Montana as well. Montana produces energy in the form of coal, oil, wind, solar, and hydro, and while some folks would like to see the state back away from our dependence on fossil fuels, that doesn't seem to be happening any time soon.

Railroad tankers
Brian Brown

Here in Montana, we make stuff, so it's no surprise that manufacturing is a big part of the state's economy. Some of the things we produce here in big sky country go hand in hand with the industries mentioned above. Some of the products made here in Montana include wood products, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, auto parts, farm equipment, and several outdoor leisure products.

Finally, we have tourism and recreation.

We all know that tourism is big business for Montana, especially during the summer months as millions of people travel to visit places like Yellowstone and Glacier National Park. This has a direct impact on several communities around the state as far as folks staying in their hotels, eating at their restaurants, and shopping in their stores.

Yellowstone National Park.Wyoming.USA

Of course, there are many other industries that employ Montanans, and whatever it is you do for work, I wish you a very happy Labor Day weekend.

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