Maine Unemployment Rate 7.6 Percent Bookmark and Share

August 17, 2012

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

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data Survey of Households - The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate for Maine was 7.6 percent in July, little changed from 7.5 percent in June and unchanged from one year ago. The number of unemployed was estimated at 53,800, up 400 over the year. The U.S. unemployment rate estimate was 8.3 percent, little changed from 8.2 percent in June and down from 9.1 percent one year ago.

The unemployment rate rise in 2012 reflects a correction from unusually low estimates in the latter part of 2011 (that are likely to be revised upward), not a deterioration in workforce conditions. 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 7.1 percent; rates in other states were 5.4 percent in New Hampshire, 5.0 percent in Vermont, 6.1 percent in Massachusetts, 10.8 percent in Rhode Island and 8.5 percent in Connecticut.

Survey of Employer Payrolls - U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimates indicate there were 595,500 nonfarm payroll jobs in July, up 1,800 from the revised June estimate. Over the last year declining state and local government jobs have partly offset private sector gains. Much of the private sector job growth was in retail trade, leisure & hospitality, healthcare, and professional & business services. U.S. nonfarm payroll jobs were up 163,000 in July.

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 7.4 percent in July, up from 7.3 percent one year ago. Not seasonally-adjusted rates ranged from 5.9 percent in Lincoln County to 10.1 percent in Washington County. Rates tended to be lower than the statewide average in southern and coastal counties and higher than average among northern and rim counties.

Among metro areas, the unemployment rate was below the statewide average in Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (6.1 percent) and higher than the statewide average in Bangor (8.2 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (7.9 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 .

August data is scheduled for release September 21.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 17, 2012 Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192