May 27, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 27, 2015
Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192
State Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette released April workforce estimates for Maine.
Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data
Household Survey Estimates – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.7 percent for April was little changed from 4.8 percent in March and down from 5.8 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed declined 8,300 over the year to 32,100. The unemployment rate was the lowest since July 2007.
The employment to population ratio estimate of 60.2 percent remained above the U.S. average (59.3 percent) for the 91st consecutive month.
The U.S. preliminary unemployment rate of 5.4 percent was little changed from 5.5 percent in March and down from 6.2 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate averaged 5.0 percent. Rates for other states were 3.8 percent in New Hampshire, 3.6 percent in Vermont, 4.7 percent in Massachusetts, 6.1 percent in Rhode Island, and 6.3 percent in Connecticut.
Labor force and unemployment data is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/laus1.html .
Payroll Survey Estimates – The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate for April of 609,400 was up 6,400 from one year ago. Private sector jobs were up 6,300 and government was up 100. The largest job gains were in the education, professional and business services, and hospitality sectors.
Nonfarm payroll jobs data is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/ces1.html .
Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data
The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in April, down from 6.2 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 3.7 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.
The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in all three metro areas: Portland-South Portland (3.8 percent), Lewiston-Auburn, and Bangor (each 4.6 percent). This release is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/news/release.html .
May workforce estimates will be released Friday, June 19 (Data Release Schedule: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/releaseDates.html ).
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 2016) will moderate or eliminate those directional patterns.
Nonfarm payroll jobs estimates tend to be volatile from month to month because there is variability in the sample of reporting employers and their representativeness for the universe of all employers. Additionally, seasonal adjustment is imperfect because weather, the beginning and ending of school semesters and holidays, and other events do not always occur with the same timing, which can exacerbate monthly volatility. Users should look to the trend over multiple months rather than the change from one specific month to another. Estimates for the period from October 2014 to September 2015 will be replaced with actual payroll data in March 2016. Those benchmark revisions are likely to show less volatility than preliminary estimates.