Maine’s jobless rate held steady at 5.7% in May

Posted June 20, 2014, at 4:05 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s unemployment rate remained at 5.7 percent in May, down one percentage point from a year ago and unchanged since April in preliminary estimates from the Maine Department of Labor.

The share of unsuccessful job seekers remained lower than the national average of 6.3 percent for May and slightly below the 5.9 percent average unemployment rate across New England, based on a survey of households.

The jobless rate for May reflects an estimated 40,600 Mainers who want to work and can’t find jobs, a decline of 7,000 since last year.

Preliminary estimates indicated Maine had 610,300 nonfarm payroll jobs in May, up 9,200 from one year ago. The gains comprised 9,900 new jobs in the private sector and a loss of 700 government payroll jobs since one year ago.

Compared across the region, Maine had a higher rate of unemployment than Vermont (3.3 percent), New Hampshire (4.4 percent) and Massachusetts (5.6 percent) and a lower rate than Connecticut (6.9 percent) and Rhode Island (8.2 percent).

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