Spring Hailstorm Hurting Billings Labor Market

November 12, 2014

A serious hailstorm last spring continues to put a pinch on the labor market in Billings, Montana.

The storm May 18 caused millions of dollars in damage to thousands of homes. Roofing companies have been moving in from out of state to take advantage of all the business.

They’re hiring up workers locally. Local contractors say that’s making it tough for them to find employees for all kinds of work, not just roofing.

James Oak with All Star Custom Seamless Rain Gutters says he’s cycled through 10 employees this year. Among them were three who quit to go work for roofing companies.

Economists say booming oil drilling in eastern Montana also has tightened up the labor market. The Billings Gazette reports unemployment in Yellowstone County was 3 percent in September.

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