March 28, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28, 2014
Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192
State Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette released February workforce estimates for Maine.
Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data
Workforce conditions in Maine continued to improve in February. The number of payroll jobs was up 6,300 from a year ago, driving the employment to population ratio to a five-year high, and the unemployment rate to a five-year low. Over the last year, net job growth was dispersed across a number of sectors.
Household Survey Estimates – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in February, little changed from 6.2 percent in January and down from 6.9 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed declined 6,000 over the year to 43,100. The unemployment rate was the lowest since October 2008.
The share of the population that is employed reached 61.5 percent, the highest since December 2008, and remained higher than the 58.8 percent national average for the 77th consecutive month.
The U.S. unemployment rate estimate was 6.7 percent, little changed from 6.6 percent in January and down from 7.7 percent one year ago. The New England estimate was 6.4 percent. Rates for other states were 4.7 percent in New Hampshire, 3.7 percent in Vermont, 6.5 percent in Massachusetts, 9.0 percent in Rhode Island, and 7.0 percent in Connecticut.
Labor force and unemployment data is available here: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/laus1.html .
Payroll Survey Estimates – The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate for February of 605,400 is up 6,300 from one year ago. Private sector jobs were up 7,400, primarily in the retail trade, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, education and healthcare, and finance and insurance sectors. Those gains were partially offset by a decline of 1,100 jobs in government.
Nonfarm payroll jobs data is available here: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/ces1.html .
Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data
The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in February, down from 8.0 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 5.2 percent in Cumberland County to 11.4 percent in Washington 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 metropolitan areas: Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (5.5 percent), Bangor (6.4 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (6.3 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 .
March estimates will be released Friday, April 18 (Data Release Schedule: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/releaseDates.html ).
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 procedure and may not indicate a change in underlying workforce conditions. Annual revisions (to be published in March 2015) will eliminate those directional patterns. A comparison of preliminary and annually revised unemployment rate is available at http://cwri.blogspot.com/2014/03/workforce-data-revisions-part-1.html.
Nonfarm payroll jobs estimates tend to be volatile from month to month. Estimates for the period from October 2013 to September 2014 will be replaced with actual payroll data in March 2015. The job count is likely to show less volatility than preliminary estimates.