Document Type



The Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research

Publication Date



Economics | Leisure Studies | Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration | Tourism and Travel


This report looks at how the economy of Montana and the entire Mountain West has been changing since the 1970s. Extractive natural resource industries are no longer as important to the economy as they may once have been. Other industries, services in particular, have become relatively more important in terms of employment and earnings in the state. Nonresident travel accounts for 7.5% of total employment (over 45,900 jobs) in Montana. While some may view nonresident travel as insignificant or completely unrelated to what happens in the rest of Montana’s economy, nonresident travel contributes jobs to every industrial sector, directly or indirectly. For example, 12.5% of jobs in service industries are attributable to nonresident travel in Montana. Likewise for 11.6% of wholesale trade, 10.3% of retail trade, 8.4% of transportation and warehousing, and 4.5% of real estate and rental and leasing.


economic sectors, service industry, employment distribution, earnings, Montana economic structure, Montana tourism economy, Montana tourism employment, cowboy economics, extractive natural resource industries, service industries, Mountain West economics


Research Report 2007-3


© 2007 ITRR