For years, Missoula’s economy was a product of its geographic location and natural resources. Today, many of the mills that spotted the western Montana landscape are remnants of the past.
Although most of the mills are gone, in recent years Missoula’s economy has grown increasingly diverse. The University of Montana, government, healthcare, tourism, and professional services have replaced agriculture, mills, and natural resources as the major economic drivers of the region. Non-profits and public sectors have also enjoyed significant growth in Missoula, creating an abundance of highly sought-after jobs.
Missoulians represent a highly educated and dynamic workforce, something you may not expect in a city the size of Missoula.
- As of 2010, the population of Missoula County had 109,000 residents and growing
- 40% of residents hold at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to the national average of 24%
- Median household income and benefits is $46,000 and the mean household income and benefits is $58,855 annually.
Despite wages that are lower than average, most Missoulians find that the cost of living and quality of life more than make up for the lower average wage.
Whether it’s starting, growing, or relocating a business, seeking new employment, or planning for a move to Missoula, resources are readily available to help.
At the state level, be sure to check out Innovate Montana–a public/private partnership, led by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development working in collaboration with Montana’s business community.
Locally, the Montana Community Development Corporation (MCDC) has a proven track record of assisting local businesses in getting established. And in 2011, the Missoula Economic Partnership was created to assist local businesses and startups as they grow, to attract best-fit companies to our area and to help business with relocation to the Missoula area. MEP can assist in securing capital through public funding sources, business planning, real estate/ relocation, facility siting, local and county processes, connecting with the University of Montana and tapping the local workforce.
Fueled by a zeal for entrepreneurship and a growing population attracted to Missoula for reasons beyond employment, the future looks bright for western Montana.