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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 21, 2014

Contact: Glenn Mills (207) 621-5192

Maine Unemployment Rate 5.8 Percent in September

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

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data

Household Survey Estimates

The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.8 percent in September was up slightly from 5.6 percent in August and down from 6.6 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed declined 6,000 over the year to 40,700.

 

The employment to population ratio estimate of 60.9 percent remained above the U.S. average (59.0 percent) for the 84th consecutive month.

 

Our analysts advise recent estimates are correction from unusually favorable estimates earlier in the year. Similar patterns occurred in previous years, which can be seen in these charts and described in note 1. Additionally, the larger employer payroll survey indicates workforce conditions continue to improve.

The U.S. preliminary unemployment rate of 5.9 percent was down slightly from 6.1 percent in August and down from 7.2 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate averaged 6.0 percent. Rates for other states were 4.3 percent in New Hampshire, 4.4 percent in Vermont, 6.0 percent in Massachusetts, 7.6 percent in Rhode Island, and 6.4 percent in Connecticut.

Labor force and unemployment data for the state, counties, and labor market areas is available here.

Payroll Survey Estimates

The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate for September of 611,800 is up 9,400 from one year ago. Private sector jobs were up 9,300, primarily in the leisure and hospitality, education and healthcare, professional and business services, and retail trade sectors. The estimate for government was little changed, up 100 from one year ago (see note 2).

Nonfarm payroll jobs data for the state and three metropolitan areas is available here.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in September, down from 5.8 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 4.2 percent in Cumberland County to 7.6 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.

 

Among metro areas the unemployment rate was below the statewide average in Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (4.2 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (4.9 percent) and close to the statewide average in Bangor (5.3 percent).

October estimates will be released Friday, November 21 (Data Release Schedule).

Notes:

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 2015) will eliminate those directional patterns. A comparison of preliminary and annually revised unemployment rates is available at http://cwri.blogspot.com/2014/03/workforce-data-revisions-part-1.html.

2. Nonfarm payroll jobs estimates tend to be volatile from month to month. 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 2013 to September 2014 will be replaced with actual payroll data in March 2015. Those benchmark revisions are likely to show less volatility than preliminary estimates.