Unemployment dips slightly in November

Posted Dec. 21, 2012, at 5:47 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in November, down slightly from 7.4 percent in October and little changed from 7.1 percent in November 2011, according to the Maine Department of Labor.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 51,300 Mainers were unemployed, up 900 over the year. The U.S. unemployment rate was estimated at 7.7 percent, down slightly from 7.9 percent in October and down from 8.7 percent one year ago.

The estimated unemployment rate for New England was 7.3 percent. New Hampshire’s unemployment rate was 5.6 percent; Vermont’s was 5.2 percent; Massachusetts’ was 6.6 percent; Rhode Island’s was 10.4 percent, and Connecticut’s was 8.8 percent.

Because differences in labor force participation skew unemployment rates, a more reliable metric to look at is the share of the population that is employed when comparing workforce conditions to the nation. The percent of Maine’s employed population was 60.5 percent, compared to 58.7 percent for the country. It’s the 62nd consecutive month Maine’s had a higher share of employed residents than the country as a whole.

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