Maine Unemployment Rate Unchanged


Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in May.  Twenty states had unemployment rate decreases from April, 16 states had increases, and 14 states and the District of Columbia had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier and one state had an increase.  The national jobless rate held at 6.3 percent in May but was 1.2 percentage points lower than in May 2013.

Here is an initial look at the figures for Maine.

Maine’s unemployment rate remained unchanged from April at 5.7%, but down 1% point from a year ago.  This is 2,7% points below the recession high of 8.4%  The u/e rate remained unchanged despite employment growing by 4,900–employment is up 9,200 from a year ago.

The employment/population rate dipped slightly from last month, down from 61.8% to 61.6%.  Over the year the emp/pop rate has risen slightly from 61%, and is well above the recession low of 59.9%

The labor force contracted slightly from last month, down 1,700 to 711,000.  This is still above 709,500 figure from a year ago.  The labor force participation rate dipped slightly to 65.4%, down just 0.1% points from last month, and at the same level it was at from a year ago.  The LFPR has not moved much since it reached its recession low of 65.2%, and has hovered near that mark over the past few years.

As a percentage of employment gained from April to May, Maine ranked second in the nation behind only West Virginia.

Construction added 600 jobs over the past month to push the total to 25,800, slightly above the 25,400 figure for May, 2013.  Meanwhile, manufacturing experienced an increase of 300 jobs from last month, the same increase from a year ago, to 50,600 jobs.

Once I get a chance, I will dig deeper into the data and post an update later tonight or tomorrow.

****Usual caveats apply that this jobs report is just one month’s worth of data which is subject to volatility and subsequent revisions. 


John Haskell

About John Haskell

John graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a degree in Political Science, and from the University of Maine School of Law. He has worked in both the public and private sectors, and currently, works with a small business services company in the Mid-Coast area.