Unemployment Rate is 5.6%; Percent of Mainers Working Remains Higher than National Average

September 19, 2014

For Immediate Release: Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage released a statement today about the 5.6 percent unemployment rate for August, which is down a full point from 6.6 percent a year ago.

The employment-to-population ratio, which is the percentage of adults who are employed and is a better indicator of economic recovery, is 61.1 percent — well above the national average of 59.0 percent.

“Thousands more Mainers are working in the private sector now than when I took office," said Governor LePage. “With more than 8,000 job openings on the Maine Job Bank, now is an excellent time for people to get back into the workforce, and our CareerCenters can assist those looking for a new job or to change careers.”

Payroll jobs ticked up again in August. Since Governor LePage took office, 22,100 private-sector jobs have been created. Government employment accounted for 16.2 percent of nonfarm jobs in July and August, the lowest share since before 1983.

The number of unemployed people in Maine is down 7,400 over the year. The number of private-sector jobs is up 9,400 from one year ago, mostly in leisure and hospitality; retail trade; professional and business services; education and healthcare; and construction. The number of government jobs is down 1,300 from this time last year.

“Creating an environment where our economy can grow is vital to increasing the number of jobs available to Maine workers,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “But making sure that our workers have the skills necessary to compete for the jobs that are in demand is important, too. My administration has been focused on putting targeted training programs in place that address both the needs of the long-term unemployed and our businesses. We are making the connection between industries and the people who need good career jobs. In this way the state can help not hinder our economy.”