Unemployment Rate is 5.8%; Indicators Point to Economic Improvement

October 21, 2014

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage released a statement today about the 5.8 percent unemployment rate for September, which is down 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 60.9 percent — remaining above the national average of 59.0 percent.

“We are continuing to see signs of economic improvement," said Governor LePage. “Unemployment claims are running 20 percent lower than those filed last year, and October’s continuing claims to date have been the lowest since 2007. The Maine Job Bank has hit an all-time high with more than 8,500 job openings right now; it had a total of more than 10,000 open positions posted in September and more than 10,000 so far in October.”

“My administration knows that we still have more to do to get all Mainers back into the workforce in a good-paying career,” said the Governor. “We are working to connect the long-term unemployed with new opportunities. Our CareerCenters are the first step for those who want a job or want to change paths. Don’t hesitate to ask them for the help that can change your future for the better.”

Since Governor LePage took office, about 22,000 private-sector jobs have been created. Payroll jobs are up 9,400 just since last September. Government employment accounted for 16.3 percent of nonfarm jobs in September. The number of unemployed people in Maine is down 6,000 over the year.

“My focus remains on making the changes the state needs to increase our competitiveness and improve our economy,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “By lowering taxes, decreasing the cost of energy, and increasing the skills of our workforce, Maine is increasing its global competitiveness. I have attended a dozen ribbon cuttings and job announcements in the past month and we all can see the help wanted signs popping up all over. Things are improving but I will not stop taking the right steps to grow our economy so that every family benefits.”