August 18, 2014
State Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette released July workforce estimates for Maine, noting unemployment was down and the share of the population that is employed was up over the year. Government declined to the lowest share of jobs in 15 years.
Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data Household Survey Estimates – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.5 percent for July was unchanged from June and down from 6.7 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed declined 8,700 over the year to 38,800.
The employment to population ratio was estimated at 61.4 percent, above the U.S. average (59.0 percent) for the 82nd consecutive month.
The U.S. unemployment rate estimate was 6.2 percent, little changed from 6.1 percent in June and down from 7.4 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate averaged 5.8 percent. Rates for other states were 4.4 percent in New Hampshire, 3.7 percent in Vermont, 5.6 percent in Massachusetts, 7.7 percent in Rhode Island, and 6.6 percent in Connecticut.
Labor force and unemployment data is available here.
Payroll Survey Estimates – The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate for July of 610,100 is up 7,100 from one year ago. Private sector jobs were up 8,400, primarily in the leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, education and healthcare, and construction sectors. Those gains were partially offset by a decline of 1,300 government jobs. Government accounted for 16.3 percent of nonfarm jobs in June and July, its lowest share since May 1999.
Nonfarm payroll jobs data is available here.
Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in July, down from 6.3 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 4.1 percent in Cumberland County to 8.0 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.
Among metro areas the unemployment rate was below the statewide average in Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (4.1 percent) and close to the average in Lewiston-Auburn (5.1 percent) and Bangor (5.4 percent).
This release is available here.
August estimates will be released Friday, September 19 (Data Release Schedule).
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 http://cwri.blogspot.com/2014/03/workforce-data-revisions-part-1.html.
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.