Annual payroll increasing for gun jobs

by HEIDI GAISER, Daily Inter Lake  |  published on November 27, 2012

If Montana Rifleman can find more of the machinists it needs to keep on top of orders, Flathead County’s third-quarter jobs numbers in the firearms manufacturing sector will outdo even its impressive second-quarter growth.

According to statistics from the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana, jobs in firearms manufacturing have more than doubled from the second quarter of 2011.

Firearms manufacturing jobs officially listed by the bureau were at 129 in 2009, dropped to 58 in the fourth quarter of 2010, but have rebounded considerably since then.

While current numbers aren’t available, there are several hundred jobs connected to the firearms industry in Flathead County.

In Flathead County alone there are more than 120 federal firearms licenses.

Total payroll jumped from $891,000 in 2011 to more than $2 million this year in the local gun industry.

State statistics show that there are 12 firearms manufacturing entities in Flathead County in 2012; in 2011 there were 10. The number was at four in 2004; manufacturing sites have tripled in less than a decade.

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