Maine Unemployment Rate 6.9 Percent Bookmark and Share

May 17, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2013
Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192

State Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette released April workforce estimates for Maine.

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data

Survey of Households - The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate for Maine was 6.9 percent in April, down slightly from 7.1 percent in March and 7.3 percent one year ago. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 48,600 were unemployed, down 3,100 over the year. The unemployment rate was below 7 percent for the first time since December 2008.

Preliminary unemployment rate estimates tend to move in a direction for several months and then move in the opposite direction for several months. This pattern often reflects an estimating methodology rather than improvement or deterioration in conditions. Maine analysts note annual revisions in March 2014 are likely to remove those directional trends, as has been the case in recent years.

Maine had a higher share of employed population than the nation for the 67th consecutive month in April (60.7 percent compared to 58.6 percent for the United States).

The U.S. unemployment rate was estimated at 7.5 percent, little changed from 7.6 percent in March and down from 8.1 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate estimate was 6.8 percent; estimates for other states were 5.5 percent in New Hampshire, 4.0 percent in Vermont, 6.4 percent in Massachusetts, 8.8 percent in Rhode Island and 8.0 percent in Connecticut.

Survey of Employer Payrolls – Preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate there were 597,400 nonfarm payroll jobs in April, down 400 from the revised March estimate. The estimate of U.S. nonfarm payroll jobs was up 165,000.

(NOTE: When using nonfarm payroll jobs estimates, it is important to know that they tend to be volatile from month to month. When estimates for the period from October 2012 to September 2013 are replaced with actual payroll data in March 2014, they are likely to show less volatility.)

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data###

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in April, down from 7.4 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 5.4 percent in Cumberland County to 11.5 percent in Piscataquis County. Rates tended to be lower than the statewide average in southern and central counties and higher than average in northern and rim counties. The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in all three metro areas: Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (5.7 percent), Bangor (6.6 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (6.7 percent).

This release is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/news/release.html . 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 is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/data.html .

May data will be released Friday, June 21.

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