Maine Unemployment Rate 6.2 Percent in January Bookmark and Share

March 17, 2014

Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192

State Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette released January workforce estimates for Maine.

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data

Highlights: Maine continued to have a lower unemployment rate and higher share of employed population than national and New England averages. Over the last year, job growth occurred primarily in the following sectors: professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, finance and insurance and retail trade.

Workforce estimates, including unemployment and payroll jobs data, have been revised for prior years. Information about unemployment revisions is available here, .

Survey of Households - The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate for Maine was 6.2 percent in January, down from a revised 6.4 percent in December and 7.0 percent one year ago. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 43,900 were unemployed, down 5,600 over the year.

The share of the population that is employed continued to outpace the national average–61.2 percent for Maine and 58.8 percent for the nation. January was the 76th consecutive month the employment to population ratio exceeded the national average.

Labor force and unemployment data is available here, .

The U.S. unemployment rate estimate was 6.7 percent, little changed from 6.6 percent in December and down from 7.7 percent one year ago. The New England estimate was 6.7 percent. Rates for other states were 4.9 percent in New Hampshire, 4.0 percent in Vermont, 6.8 percent in Massachusetts, 9.2 percent in Rhode Island, and 7.2 percent in Connecticut.

Survey of Employer Payrolls – The preliminary estimate of nonfarm payroll jobs was 605,500 in January, up 6,500 from one year ago according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of private sector jobs has gradually trended higher since 2010, while jobs in federal, state, and local government have declined. Over the last year job growth was strongest in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, finance and insurance and retail trade.

Nonfarm payroll jobs data is available here, .

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in January, down from 8.2 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 5.0 percent in Cumberland County to 11.2 percent in Washington County. Rates tended to be lower than the statewide average in southern and central counties and higher than average in northern and rim counties.

The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in all three metropolitan areas: Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (5.4 percent), Bangor (6.3 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (6.1 percent).

This release is available at . Detailed labor force and unemployment data for the state, counties, and 31 labor market areas; nonfarm jobs data for the state and the three metropolitan areas and much more is available at .

February estimates will be released Friday, March 28 (Data Release Schedule: ).


  1. Preliminary unemployment estimates for Maine tend to move in a direction for several months and then reverse course. Those directional trends are largely driven by a smoothing procedure and may not indicate a change in underlying workforce conditions. Annual revisions (to be published in March 2015) will eliminate those directional patterns. A comparison of preliminary and annually revised unemployment rate is available at .

  2. Nonfarm payroll jobs estimates tend to be volatile from month to month. Estimates for the period from October 2013 to September 2014 will be replaced with actual payroll data in March 2015. The job count is likely to show less volatility than preliminary estimates.