Unemployment and Labor Force

Data is derived from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program. LAUS is a Federal-State cooperative program that develops monthly estimates of the labor force, employment, unemployment, and unemployment rates for the state, counties, labor market areas, metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, and cities and towns (minor civil divisions).

Unemployment Rate (seasonally adjusted)

Dec 2014
Nov 2014
Dec 2013
Maine 5.5% 5.7% 6.4%
United States 5.6% 5.8% 6.7%

Latest News Release | Data Release Schedule


Civilian Labor Force Estimates

Unemployment Rates for all States and the New England Region (Interactive)

U.S. and Statewide Unemployment Rates (Interactive) (Excel)

  • Monthly Not Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Estimates, 1976-2014 (Excel)
  • Monthly Not Seasonally Adjusted Labor Market Area Estimates (Excel)
  • Monthly Not Seasonally Adjusted County Estimates (Excel)

Unemployment Rates for Counties, City/Towns, Labor Market Areas (Interactive) (Excel)

Average Annual Labor Force Estimates

  • State 1947-2013 (Excel)
  • County (Excel)
  • Labor Market Area (LMA) (Excel)
  • City/Town (Minor Civil Division) (Excel)




  • What is a labor market area and how are they defined?
  • A Labor Market Area (LMA) consists of an economic center and the associated towns in the area. Labor Market areas are defined every 10 years based on commuting patterns. The current Labor Market Area definitions were effective 1/1/2005 and based on the 2000 census.

  • What does the term "benchmarked" mean?
  • The term "benchmarked" (in the LAUS program) refers to forcing the monthly statewide model-based estimates to population controlled Current Population Survey annual average estimates. Substate estimates are then revised and forced to add to the new state estimates. As part of the process, any changes in the inputs, such as revision in the Current Employment Statistics-based employment figures or unemployment insurance claims counts, and updated historical relationships, are incorporated.

  • Why is the level of employment different when comparing the estimated labor force data with the covered employment data?
  • The estimated labor force data is residence-based information while the covered employment data is establishment-based information.

  • How is the unemployment rate measured?
  • The unemployment rate is measured in a top down format. On a monthly basis, a sample of households are surveyed on a nationwide basis. From this sample, state rates are determined along with the national rate. The state information is then used through a model-based module to generate the substate (i.e. county/city) data.

  • Who is considered part of the labor force?
  • The labor force includes all persons 16 years of age and over who are employed, or unemployed and actively seeking employment. Those involved in a labor-management dispute are also included. The "civilian labor force" excludes members of the armed forces and the institutionalized population.

  • Who is considered unemployed?
  • Unemployed persons are the number of people who are not employed but are actively seeking work. Included are those who are waiting to be called back from a lay off or are waiting to report to a new job within 30 days.

  • What is the difference between seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted data?
  • Most economic series, including employment and unemployment data, are affected by seasonal variations. Often it is difficult to tell from raw statistics whether developments between any two months reflect changing economic conditions or merely normal seasonal fluctuations. In order to compare employment and unemployment data for any pair of months accurately, a statistical technique known as seasonal adjustment is used.

  • What is covered employment?
  • Covered employment refers to those employers who fall under the coverage of the state and federal unemployment insurance programs and pay unemployment taxes on their workers. The main activities NOT included in Covered employment are self-employment, railroads, and small agricultural activities.

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Contact Information

Maine Department of Labor
Center for Workforce Research & Information
118 SHS
Augusta, ME 04333-0118

Phone: (207) 623-7900
TTY: Maine Relay 711
Email: CWRI.DOL@Maine.gov