Maine Unemployment Rate 7.5 Percent Bookmark and Share

July 20, 2012

State Labor Commissioner Robert Winglass released June workforce estimates for Maine.

Seasonally-Adjusted Statewide Data

Survey of Households - The preliminary seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Maine was 7.5 percent in June, little changed from 7.4 percent in May and 7.6 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed totaled 52,900, down 800 over the year. The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.2 percent, unchanged from May and down from 9.1 percent one year ago.

The unemployment rate rise since February is related to declining estimates of the number of employed people, partially reversing the rapid employment rise household survey estimates indicated in the latter part of 2011. The upward and then downward trends in employment estimates that drove unemployment rates down in late 2011 and then back up in 2012 are at odds with indications from payroll data provided by employers, which signal relative stability in the number of jobs. The recent trend appears to be a correction from unusual levels; annual revisions are likely to smooth the figures. Maine continues to have lower unemployment rates, higher rates of labor force participation, and a higher share of population that is employed than the nation.

The unemployment rate for New England was 6.8 percent; rates in other states were 5.1 percent in New Hampshire, 4.7 percent in Vermont, 6.0 percent in Massachusetts, 10.9 percent in Rhode Island, and 8.1 percent in Connecticut.

Survey of Employer Payrolls - Estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate there were 591,400 nonfarm payroll jobs in June, down 600 from the revised estimate for May. Over the last year declining state and local government jobs have largely offset private sector gains. U.S. nonfarm payroll jobs were up 80,000 in June.

As the nearby chart indicates, monthly nonfarm payroll jobs estimates continue to be more volatile than the lagging, complete count of wage and salary jobs collected through unemployment insurance tax filings of employers. Data through June 2011 has been benchmarked to the complete count; estimates after June 2011 are likely to be much smoother once they are revised in March 2013.

Not Seasonally-Adjusted Substate Data

The not seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in June, down from 7.5 percent one year ago. Not seasonally-adjusted rates ranged from 6.0 percent in Cumberland County to 10.2 percent in Franklin and Washington Counties. Rates tended to be lower than the statewide average in southern and central counties and higher than average among eastern and northern counties.

Among metro areas, the unemployment rate was below the statewide average in Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (5.9 percent) and higher than the statewide average in Bangor (7.4 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (7.7 percent).

This release is available at www.maine.gov/labor/cwri.

Detailed labor force and unemployment data for the state, counties, and 31 labor market areas; nonfarm jobs data for the state and the three metropolitan areas; and much more data is available at www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/data.html.

July data is scheduled for release August 17.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 20, 2012
Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192