Maine unemployment rate 5.7 percent in May

Jun 20, 2014

Augusta — The unemployment rate was unchanged in May; job growth over the last year was spread across a number of sectors.

Household Survey Estimates – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate was 5.7 percent for May, unchanged from April and down from 6.7 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed declined 7,000 over the year to 40,600.

The share of the population that is employed was estimated at 61.6 percent, well above the U.S. average of 58.9 percent. May was the 80th consecutive month the employment to population ratio was above the national average.

The U.S. unemployment rate estimate remained at 6.3 percent, down from 7.5 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate averaged 5.9 percent. Rates for other states were 4.4 percent in New Hampshire, 3.3 percent in Vermont, 5.6 percent in Massachusetts, 8.2 percent in Rhode Island, and 6.9 percent in Connecticut.

Payroll Survey Estimates – The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate for May was 610,300, up 9,200 from one year ago. Private sector jobs were up 9,900, primarily in the leisure and hospitality, retail trade, professional and business services, and education and healthcare sectors. Those gains were partially offset by a decline of 700 jobs in government.

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

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in May, down from 6.6 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 4.6 percent in Cumberland County to 8.9 percent in Aroostook and Washington Counties. Rates tended to be lower than the statewide average in southern and central counties and higher than average in northern and rim counties.

The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in all three metropolitan areas: Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (4.6 percent), Lewiston-Auburn (5.5 percent), and Bangor (5.7 percent).

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