Maine Unemployment Rate 4.7 Percent in May Bookmark and Share

June 19, 2015

Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192

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

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data

Household Survey Estimates – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.7 percent for May was unchanged from April and down from 5.7 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed declined 7,800 over the year to 32,200.

The employment to population ratio estimate of 60.3 percent remained above the U.S. average (59.4 percent) for the 92nd consecutive month.

The U.S. preliminary unemployment rate of 5.5 percent was little changed from 5.4 percent in April and down from 6.3 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate averaged 4.9 percent. Rates for other states were 3.8 percent in New Hampshire, 3.6 percent in Vermont, 4.6 percent in Massachusetts, 5.9 percent in Rhode Island, and 6.0 percent in Connecticut.

Labor force and unemployment data is available at .

Payroll Survey Estimates – The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate for May of 609,900 was up 5,000 from one year ago. The estimate for private sector jobs was up 5,500 and government was down 500. The largest job gains were in the professional and business services, finance, healthcare, and hospitality sectors.

Nonfarm payroll jobs data is available at .

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in May, down from 5.7 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates were down in all 16 counties, with the largest declines in Franklin (-1.9 points) and Oxford (-1.6 points) counties. Rates ranged from 3.7 percent in Cumberland and Sagadahoc counties to 7.2 percent in Somerset County.

The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in all three metro areas: Portland-South Portland (3.8 percent), Lewiston-Auburn (4.4 percent), and Bangor (4.5 percent).

This release is available at .

June workforce estimates will be released Tuesday, July 21 (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 2016) will moderate or eliminate those directional patterns.

  2. 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.