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Montana's major manufacturing industries process raw materials from mines, forests, and farms. The total value of shipments by manufacturers in 1997 amounted to $5.2 billion.

Earnings of persons employed in Montana increased from $11.3 billion in 1997 to $12 billion in 1998, an increase of 5.8%. The largest industries in 1998 were services, 27.2% of earnings; state and local government, 13.4%; and retail trade, 12.6%. Of the industries that accounted for at least 5% of earnings in 1998, the slowest growing from 1997 to 1998 was state and local government, which increased 2.7%; the fastest was construction (7.7% of earnings in 1998), which increased 6.1%.