June 25, 2018
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Maine’s unemployment rate in February steady at 7.3 percent

By Whit Richardson, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s estimated unemployment rate in February was 7.3 percent, unchanged from January and the month a year ago, according to the Maine Department of Labor.

In Maine, 51,700 unemployed people were looking for work in February, 300 fewer than in February 2012, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates.

The U.S. unemployment rate in February was estimated at 7.7 percent, down from 7.9 percent in January and 8.3 percent in February 2012.

Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates are volatile, and later revised, so any small changes are not considered statistically significant.

The unemployment rate estimate for New England was 7 percent, according to the BLS data. Estimated jobless rates for Maine’s neighbors were 5.8 percent in New Hampshire and 4.4 percent in Vermont. Massachusetts had an estimated unemployment rate of 6.5 percent, and Connecticut had 8 percent. Rhode Island was estimated to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country at 9.4 percent.

Because the unemployment rate doesn’t include people who have given up looking for work, the employment-to-population ratio, which is the share of the population 16 years or older that is employed, offers a more accurate method of comparing workforce conditions, according to the Maine Department of Labor. Maine’s employment-to-population ratio was 60.3 percent, compared with 58.6 percent for the country.

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