July 22, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 22, 2022
Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192
The Employment Situation in Maine - June 2022
Total nonfarm wage and salary jobs decreased by 3,100 in June after an upward revision to the May estimate. The 3.0 percent unemployment rate was the lowest since before the pandemic. The two surveys, from which these estimates are derived, diverged in their indications of the employment situation for the second consecutive month. This is partly because seasonal adjustment factors caused some understatement of payroll jobs estimates for May and June. Differing indications from the surveys occasionally happens over short periods, but over longer periods they tend to move in parallel directions, which is likely to be the case in the months ahead.
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. The Current Employment Statistics survey collects information from employers by industry sector on the number of jobs, hours worked, and wages paid to individuals on their payrolls.
Statewide Seasonally Adjusted Labor Force Estimates
The 3.0 percent unemployment rate decreased slightly from May's 3.2 percent and was the lowest in 27 months. The 59.0 percent labor force participation rate and 57.2 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. The 3.2 percent average unemployment rate for April to June was 0.7 percentage points lower than in the three months through March. In that period the average labor force participation ticked down and the employment-to-population ratio ticked up.
U.S. and New England unemployment rates for June each were 3.6 and 3.5 percent, respectively.
Statewide Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs Estimates
Total nonfarm wage and salary jobs decreased 3,100 in June to 632,500, after an upward revision of 600 jobs for the May estimate. The May and June seasonal upswing in leisure and hospitality was as normal. An anomaly in seasonal adjustment caused jobs estimates for that sector, and in total, to be understated in those two months. Jobs decreased in retail trade and increased in professional and business services.
In the three-months through June the average number of jobs was the same as in the previous three months through March, and was 0.3 percent lower than the average for 2019, the last full year before the pandemic.
County and Metro Area Not Seasonally Adjusted Labor Force Estimates
Among the 16 counties in the state, unemployment rates were at least 0.3 percentage points higher than the not seasonally-adjusted statewide average of 3.0 percent in six, at least 0.3 points lower in five, and close to the average in five. Unemployment rates ranged from a low of 2.4 percent in Sagadahoc County to a high of 4.5 percent in Aroostook County.
Among the three metro areas of the state, unemployment was below the statewide average in Portland-S. Portland (2.5 percent) and close to the average in Bangor (2.9 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (3.1 percent).
(For substate areas, labor force estimates, including unemployment rates, are not seasonally adjusted. Because of this, estimates for a certain month should be compared to the same month in other years and should not be compared to other months.)
Statewide and Metro Area Not Seasonally Adjusted Hours and Earnings Estimates
Private sector hours and hourly earnings averaged 34.1 and $28.63 in June. Hourly earnings increased an average of 7.5 percent from a year earlier, led by a 10 percent gain in leisure and hospitality. The work week was longest in manufacturing and shortest in leisure and hospitality. Earnings were highest in professional and business services and lowest in leisure and hospitality.
Hourly earnings were higher than the statewide average in the Portland-S. Portland metro and lower in Bangor and Lewiston-Auburn.
This news release is available in a more accessible format - https://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/news/release.html
July workforce estimates will be released Friday, August 19 at 10 a.m. The data release schedule is - https://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/releaseDates.html
Nonfarm jobs data is available here - https://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/ces.html
Unemployment and labor force data is available here - https://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/laus.html
Preliminary seasonally-adjusted labor force estimates, including rates (labor force participation, employment, and unemployment rates), and levels (labor force, employed, and unemployed), as well as nonfarm wage and salary job estimates are inexact. Annual revisions (published in March each year) add accuracy. A comparison of 2020 and 2021 revised and previously published estimates is available in this blog.
The 90 percent confidence interval for the statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June was between 2.3 and 3.8.
Nonfarm wage and salary jobs from the payroll survey provide a better indication of changes in employment than resident employment from the household survey. The payroll survey is larger and has smaller margins of error.
Nonfarm payroll jobs estimates tend to be volatile from month to month because of variability in the sample of reporting employers and their representativeness of all employers. Seasonal adjustment is imperfect because weather, the beginning and ending of school semesters, and other events do not always occur with the same timing relative to the pay period that includes the 12th day of the month, which is the survey reference period. This sometimes exacerbates monthly changes in jobs estimates. Users should look to the trend over multiple months rather than the change from one specific month to another. Jobs estimates for the period from April 2021 to September 2022 will be replaced with payroll data in March 2023. Those benchmark revisions usually show less monthly variability than preliminary estimates do.
Maine CareerCenters and Maine Department of Labor are equal opportunity providers. Auxiliary aids and services are available to individuals with disabilities upon request.