Unemployment Rate Falls Again: 6.2 Percent in December

January 28, 2014

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, Jan. 28
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Under the leadership of Governor Paul R. LePage, Maine’s unemployment rate has fallen for the fourth consecutive month to its lowest levels in five years. The December rate is 6.2 percent, down from 6.4 percent in November and 7.2 percent one year ago.

Most notably, Maine continues to have a higher percentage of employed population than the U.S.

While the nation has seen no improvement in the share of employed population in four years, Maine has experienced the opposite. U.S. unemployment rate declines have been entirely due to lower labor force participation as millions of jobless people have stopped looking for work. (Jobless people not looking for work are not counted as unemployed – they are not in the labor force.)

A rising employment-to-population ratio has been the leading factor in declining unemployment rates in Maine the last three years.

“More Mainers are remaining in the labor force seeking work, and they are finding it,” said Governor LePage. “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. 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.”

December’s rate is the lowest since 2008. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed people in Maine has fallen by 6,500 from this time last year.

“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 Concepts, 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.