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2013 by the numbers in Montana

By Will Wadley, KECI Weekend Anchor, wwadley@keci.com
Published On: Jan 02 2014 05:52:09 PM MST
Updated On: Jan 02 2014 06:38:26 PM MST
MISSOULA, Mont. -

If you watched the news last year, you know there were some big stories 2013 that were hard to miss, and they played out in weather conditions, in our courts, and outside under the Big Sky.

If you dig a little deeper, there are statistics and trends that also tell stories of their own.

A key number that's down in 2013 is DUI deaths -- 28 percent lower than they were in 2012, according to the Montana Highway Patrol.

Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to drop traffic deaths over all. 227 people were killed on Montana roadways this year, an increase of almost 11 percent.

Unemployment is nearly half a percent lower that it was this time last year, down to 5 percent statewide. That's 2 points below the national average of 7 percent.

“I think there’s a lot more confidence there, because employers are actually starting to compete for jobs,” said Missoula Job Services Director Wolf Ametsbichler. “The word that comes to mind is healing. The has been a year of healing.”