Unemployment Insurance Program
The Maine Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs provide unemployment benefits to eligible workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own, (as determined under Maine State law), and meet certain other eligibility requirements. Click here for the latest press release regarding Unemployment Insurance Claims. If you've come to this page looking to file for unemployment benefits, please click here.
Counts are for State Unemployment Insurance Program only. Data for the most recent four weeks is preliminary and subject to revision.
Characteristics of Claimants (Excel)
- Average Weekly Wage, Minimum and Maximum Weekly Benefit Amounts, and Monetary Eligibility Requirements Under the Maine Unemployment Insurance Program, 1938-2020 (Excel)
- Unemployment Insurance (UI) - Maine Department of Labor
- Unemployment Insurance (UI) - United States Department of Labor
- Unemployment Insurance News Release, Regular State Data, and Trigger Notices from the U.S. Department of Labor
- Who is considered unemployed?
Unemployed persons are the number of people who are not employed but are actively seeking work. Included are those who are waiting to be called back from a lay off or are waiting to report to a new job within 30 days.
- What is covered employment?
Covered employment refers to those employers who fall under the coverage of the state and federal unemployment insurance programs and pay unemployment taxes on their workers. The main activities NOT included in Covered employment are self-employment, railroads, and small agricultural activities.
- What do the unemployment insurance claims figures measure?
Statistics on the number of insured unemployed are collected as a byproduct of Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs. Workers who lose their jobs and are covered by these programs typically file claims, which serve as notice that they are beginning a period of unemployment. Claimants who qualify for benefits are counted in the insured unemployment figures. However, they only represent a portion of the total unemployed. These data are not used to measure total unemployment because they exclude several important groups. The insured unemployed excludes unemployed workers who have exhausted their benefits; new entrants or reentrants to the labor market; disqualified workers whose unemployment is considered to have resulted from their own actions (misconduct on the job) rather than from economic conditions; and otherwise eligible unemployed persons who do not file for benefits. In terms of employed workers, the principal groups not covered by the UI programs are self-employed workers, unpaid family workers, workers in certain non-profit organizations, and other, primarily seasonal, worker categories.
- What is an initial claim?
This is a term used to define the initial notice of unemployment a person files with the State Unemployment Insurance agency to initiate a request either for a determination of entitlement to and eligibility for compensation, or for a subsequent period of unemployment within a benefit year or period of eligibility.
- What is unemployment insurance?
Unemployment Insurance is temporary income for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are either looking for new jobs, in approved training, or awaiting recall to employment. The funding for unemployment insurance benefits comes from taxes paid by employers. Workers do not pay any of the costs. To qualify for unemployment benefits, you must have earned sufficient wages during a specified time (monetary eligibility). To collect benefits, you must meet certain legal eligibility requirements.
- What is a continued claim?
A weekly request for benefit payment after the initial claim has been filed. Each week a claimant is totally or partially unemployed the claimant must report to certify eligibility for a benefit payment for the week.
- What is the purpose of a 4-week moving average?
Since jobless claims may be volatile from week to week, the four-week moving average is observed to get a better indication of the underlying trend.
Maine Department of Labor
Center for Workforce Research & Information
Augusta, ME 04333-0118
Phone: (207) 623-7900
TTY: Maine Relay 711
Fax: (207) 287-2947