Payroll Figures Presented to the Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission Indicate New Job Growth Bookmark and Share

October 25, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 25, 2012 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Figures show a net increase of 6,800 private sector jobs

AUGUSTA—Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission (CEFC) met today and heard presentations from various industry groups and state economists.

The workforce data presented to the CEFC covered both the rising number of payroll jobs and recent fluctuations in the unemployment rate.

“In the 12 months through June 2012, payroll jobs reported through quarterly unemployment insurance tax filings were up 6,800,” said Glenn Mills, chief economist of the Center for Workforce Research and Information (CWRI) of the Maine Department of Labor.

“There appears to be an upward trend in job growth, subject to some revision,” he added.

The growth has occurred in private sector. The leisure and hospitality, healthcare, education, and professional and business services are experiencing the most growth and are at or near all-time highs. The growth in the leisure and hospitality industry partially reflects the opening of one casino and the expansion of another. These figures are adjusted for seasonal fluctuations.

Construction jobs are up moderately from low levels. Manufacturing, retail, and finance jobs have stabilized. The number of state and local government jobs has declined, and the number of federal government jobs stayed relatively the same.

The data set does not indicate that wage increases have corresponded with the increase in jobs.

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette commented, “The LePage administration has been working hard to cut red tape and support private sector job creation. Seeing this growth gives hope to people on unemployment that their job search efforts will pay off.”

Mills demonstrated how the decline in the national unemployment rate is based upon lower labor force participation, a trend which has been much less pronounced in Maine, which led to a near convergence of unemployment rates. Because Maine people continue to look for work and are therefore still counted amongst the unemployed, the state’s unemployment rate has not declined as has that of the nation.

In addition, Mills’s presentation included analysis of the recent revisions of U.S. Census Bureau statistics related to median income. That analysis, as well as all of the slides from Mills’s presentation, are available on the publications page of CWRI’s website,]( .

CWRI develops and disseminates state and area labor market information to assist officials, employers, educators, trainers and the public in making decisions that promote economic opportunity and efficient use of Maine’s labor resources.