Maine Unemployment Rate 5.7 Percent in May Bookmark and Share

June 20, 2014

Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192

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

The unemployment rate was unchanged in May; job growth over the last year was spread across a number of sectors.

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data

Household Survey Estimates – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate was 5.7 percent for May, unchanged from April and down from 6.7 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed declined 7,000 over the year to 40,600.

The share of the population that is employed was estimated at 61.6 percent, well above the U.S. average of 58.9 percent. May was the 80th consecutive month the employment to population ratio was above the national average.

The U.S. unemployment rate estimate remained at 6.3 percent, down from 7.5 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate averaged 5.9 percent. Rates for other states were 4.4 percent in New Hampshire, 3.3 percent in Vermont, 5.6 percent in Massachusetts, 8.2 percent in Rhode Island, and 6.9 percent in Connecticut.

Labor force and unemployment data the state, counties, and labor market areas is available here, .

Payroll Survey Estimates – The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate for May was 610,300, up 9,200 from one year ago. Private sector jobs were up 9,900, primarily in the leisure and hospitality, retail trade, professional and business services, and education and healthcare sectors. Those gains were partially offset by a decline of 700 jobs in government.

Nonfarm payroll jobs data for the state and three metropolitan areas is available here, .

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in May, down from 6.6 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 4.6 percent in Cumberland County to 8.9 percent in Aroostook and Washington Counties. 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 (4.6 percent), Lewiston-Auburn (5.5 percent), and Bangor (5.7 percent).

This release is available here, .

June estimates will be released Friday, July 18 (Data Release Schedule, ).


  1. Preliminary labor force estimates, including unemployment and employment to population ratios 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 rates 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.