March 14, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 14, 2022 Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192
The Employment Situation in Maine - January 2022
Total nonfarm wage and salary jobs increased by 3,500 in January; jobs increased by an average of 4,600 in the three months from November to January over the prior three-month period through October. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent in January and averaged 4.2 percent in the three-months through January.
This news release presents estimates derived from two monthly surveys. The Current Population Survey collects information from households on labor force status, including labor force participation, employment, and unemployment rates. The Current Employment Statistics survey collects information from employer establishments on jobs, wages, and hours worked by industry sector.
NOTE: Data for previous years has been revised, which is described in this blog - https://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/blogs/2022workforcedata_revisions.pdf . Over the last two years job growth was stronger and unemployment was lower than previously published estimates indicated. Information described in previous monthly news releases has been replaced and is no longer official. Users should look to https://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri for revised labor force and unemployment - https://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/laus.html or nonfarm jobs data - https://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/ces.html for previous periods.
Seasonally Adjusted Labor Force Estimates
In January, the 4.1 percent unemployment rate and 28,200 unemployed people were unchanged from December. (The news release for December stated the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent. That figure has been revised to 4.1 percent.) The 59.3 percent labor force participation rate and the 56.8 percent employment to population ratio were little changed in the month.
Three-month averages generally provide a better indication of workforce conditions as they smooth some of the variability in sample-based estimates, and they reflect revisions to estimates for previous months. Averages for November to January decreased from the prior three-month period through October for each labor force metric: the unemployment rate decreased 0.4 percentage points; the labor force participation rate decreased 0.2 points; and the employment to population ratio decreased 0.4 points.
U.S. and New England unemployment rates for January were 4.0 and 4.6 percent, respectively. (The U.S. rate for February was 3.8 percent. Release of state unemployment rates for January is delayed each year due to annual revisions. The schedule will return to release of state rates two weeks after the national rate this spring.)
Seasonally Adjusted Payroll Jobs Estimates
Total nonfarm wage and salary jobs increased 3,500 in January to 631,800. The largest job gains were in healthcare and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, and construction. The three-month average of jobs through January increased 4,600 from the prior three-month period through October. Nearly 80 percent of the gain in that period was in leisure and hospitality, as the sector recovers from sharp job losses at the beginning of the pandemic.
The three-month average of jobs through January was higher than the pre-pandemic average for 2019 in professional and business services, construction, manufacturing, and educational services; it was lower in healthcare and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, state and local governments, and retail trade.
Not Seasonally Adjusted Labor Force Estimates
Unemployment rates were at least 0.3 percentage points higher than the statewide not seasonally-adjusted average of 4.3 percent in eight counties, at least 0.3 points lower in two counties, and close to the average in six counties. The highest unemployment rate in January was in Washington County and the lowest was in Sagadahoc County.
Among the three metro areas of the state, unemployment was below the statewide average in the Portland-S. Portland metro area, and close to the average in the Bangor and Lewiston-Auburn metros.
Not Seasonally Adjusted Hours and Earnings Estimates
Private sector hours averaged 34.0 and hourly earnings averaged $28.81 in January. The average work week was longest in manufacturing and shortest in leisure and hospitality. Hourly earnings were highest in professional and business services and lowest in leisure and hospitality.
Average hourly earnings were higher than the statewide average in Portland-S. Portland, slightly lower than the average in Lewiston-Auburn, and below the average in the Bangor metro.
Private sector average hourly earnings increased 8.0 percent in the 12-months through January. The leisure and hospitality sector had both the highest rate of increase in hourly earnings as well as the largest increase in hours worked over the year.