Maine Unemployment Rate 7.0 Percent in August Bookmark and Share

September 20, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2013
Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192

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

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data

Survey of Households - The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate for Maine was 7.0 percent in August, little changed from 6.9 percent in July and down from 7.3 percent one year ago. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 50,000 were unemployed, down 1,700 over the year.

Preliminary unemployment estimates for Maine tend to move in a direction for several months and then reverse course. Those directional trends are largely driven by a smoothing mechanism that is part of the estimating procedure. It was predictable that the strong downward trend in preliminary unemployment estimates of the first half of 2013 would be reversed in the latter part of the year; the recent upward turn does not necessarily indicate a deterioration in workforce conditions. Annual revisions (to be published in March) are likely to eliminate those directional patterns. A chart illustrating preliminary estimates compared to annually revised figures for the last two years is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/revisions.html.

The share of the population that is employed was higher than the national average for the 71st consecutive month in August — 60.7 percent compared to 58.7 percent.

The U.S. unemployment rate estimate was 7.3 percent, little changed from 7.4 percent in July and down from 8.2 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate was 7.3 percent; estimates for other states were 5.0 percent in New Hampshire, 4.6 percent in Vermont, 7.2 percent in Massachusetts, 9.1 percent in Rhode Island, and 8.1 percent in Connecticut.

Survey of Employer Payrolls – Preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate there were 602,600 nonfarm payroll jobs in August, little changed from an upwardly revised July estimate and up 4,100 from one year ago. The estimate of U.S. nonfarm payroll jobs was up 169,000.

NOTE: Nonfarm payroll jobs estimates tend to be volatile from month to month. Estimates for the period from October 2012 to September 2013 will be replaced with actual payroll data in March 2014. The job count is likely to show less volatility than monthly estimates.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in August, down from 6.5 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 5.1 percent in Knox County to 9.8 percent in Piscataquis County. Rates tended to be lower than the statewide average in southern and coastal counties and higher than average in northern and rim counties.

Among metro areas the unemployment rate was below the statewide average in Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (5.3 percent) and above the statewide average in Bangor (6.6 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (6.6 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 .

September data will be released Tuesday, October 22.

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