Maine’s Unemployment Rate Drops 20 Percent since Governor LePage Took Office

December 20, 2013

For Immediate Release: Friday, Dec. 20
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage announced today that the unemployment rate for November has fallen to 6.4 percent, the third consecutive monthly drop since September and the lowest rate since 2008.

The unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in September, dropped to 6.7 percent in October and then dropped again to 6.4 percent in November. One year ago in November, the rate was 7.2 percent.

“We have been working hard for three years to improve the business climate in Maine so our companies can do what they do best: create jobs,” said the Governor. “We have reduced taxes, cut red tape, streamlined regulations and made fiscally responsible decisions to right-size government. All of these factors make Maine more competitive in attracting and retaining jobs.”

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed people in Maine has fallen by 5,400 from this time last year.

November was the 74th consecutive month Maine had a higher share of employed population than the nation (61.2 percent vs. 58.6 percent). Maine’s share of employed population continues to rise; the U.S. employed share has not improved in four years. The state’s unemployment rate remains below that of the nation.

“The nation’s unemployment rate remains high because of the broken system in Washington, D.C., which has resulted in $17 trillion of debt, unbalanced budgets, high taxes and uncertainty in the marketplace,” said Governor LePage. “Now Obamacare is crushing small businesses and the middle class. These job-killing efforts are the exact opposite of what a government should be doing to increase employment. Our state is working hard to mitigate these effects in Maine to help our businesses be more competitive.”

“Career politicians don’t know how to create jobs,” the Governor added. “I spent my entire career in business, and I understand what companies need to succeed. When businesses succeed, Maine families benefit from the good-paying jobs they provide.”

The Governor highlighted the world-class companies that have created jobs in Maine over the past few months, including Barclaycards, Irving Forest Products, Ameridial, Eimskip, Tempus Jets, Maine Wood Products, Molnlycke Health Care and many others.

“These companies recognize the great strides our administration has made to transform Maine state government from an adversary into a partner with a ‘can do’ attitude that moves at the speed of business,” said the Governor. “Our pro-growth, pro-business policies have made it easier for them to create more jobs for Mainers.”

For a comprehensive list of public policies, including those that have encouraged job growth, visit the Office of the Governor website and click on the "Moving Maine Forward" booklet.