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Maine Unemployment Rate - Mar. 12, 2018

 Maine Unemployment Rate 3.0 Percent in January  

AUGUSTA - Labor market conditions in Maine continued to be strong at the beginning of 2018.

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data

Household Survey Estimates – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.0 percent for January was down from revised rates of 3.1 percent for December and 3.4 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed declined 2,500 over the year to 21,000.

Recently completed annual data revisions indicate there was less monthly variation in unemployment in 2017 than previously released preliminary estimates indicated. Preliminary estimates ranged from 3.0 to 3.8 percent during the year; revised rates for 2017 range from 3.1 to 3.5 percent.

Maine’s unemployment rate has been below 4.0 percent for 26 consecutive months, the longest such period since the current methodology was implemented in 1976. The previous long was 22 months from 1999 to 2001. Nationally, unemployment has been below 4.0 percent in just five months, all in 2000.

The U.S. preliminary unemployment rate of 4.1 percent for January was unchanged from December and down from 4.8 percent one year ago. The New England average was 3.7 percent.

January unemployment estimates for other states in the region were 2.6 percent in New Hampshire, 2.9 percent in Vermont, 3.5 percent in Massachusetts, 4.5 percent in Rhode Island, and 4.5 percent in Connecticut.

The employment to population ratio estimate of 61.5 percent remained above the 60.1 percent U.S. average.

Payroll Survey Estimates – The 622,600 preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate for January was unchanged from one year ago. Job gains primarily in the healthcare and social assistance and the professional and business services sectors were offset by job losses in the leisure and hospitality and the retail trade sectors, each of which was impacted by unusually extreme weather.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate estimate of 3.4 percent for January was down from 4.0 percent one year ago. Unemployment rates decreased over the year in all counties. The lowest rate was 2.4 percent in Cumberland County and the highest was 5.4 percent in Washington County.