Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.1 Percent in February

March 28, 2014

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

AUGUSTA – Under the leadership of Governor Paul R. LePage, Maine’s unemployment rate in February fell to its lowest level in six years. The February rate is 6.1 percent, down from 7.0 percent one year ago. The 6.1 percent unemployment rate is the lowest since October 2008.

“Maine’s economy not only is recovering, but it is getting stronger every month,” Governor LePage said. “This is good news for Maine families and our economy as a whole. Furthermore, this is evidence that pro-jobs, pro-growth, low-tax policies work to help businesses create jobs in our state.”

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 dropping the unemployment rate to a six-year low. Over the last year, net job growth was dispersed across a number of sectors.

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. Since 2011, when Governor LePage took office, almost 16,000 private-sector jobs have been created.

Additionally, 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 61.5 percent employment to population ratio is the highest since December 2008, remaining well above the national average.

More Jobs Being Created

• Maine experienced positive annual job growth for 32 consecutive months.

• Maine job growth month-to-month has been positive for 8 of the last 12 months. (also 16 of the last 24 months)

• Maine has created 16,000 new private sector jobs since December 2010.

• Maine job postings compiled by the Maine Job Bank showed nearly 7,000 openings in March 2014.