Maine reports 7 percent jobless rate in August

Posted Sept. 20, 2013, at 4:42 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s unemployment rate was 7 percent in August, a slight increase from the month before, but an improvement from last year.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in August was 7 percent, slightly higher than the 6.9 percent reported in July, but a decrease from the 7.3 percent reported for August 2012, according to Maine’s Center for Workforce Research and Information.

Because of the volatility of the data, the slight increase from July to August does not necessarily indicate a deterioration in workforce conditions, according to Glenn Mills, director of the center.

“A movement of a tenth or two people will interpret as a deterioration, and it hasn’t been,” he said.

Maine’s rate puts it in the middle of pack when compared to its neighbors. Vermont and New Hampshire had the lowest rates in the region, at 4.6 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Maine’s rate was lower, however, than Massachusetts (7.2 percent), Connecticut (8.1 percent) and Rhode Island (9.1 percent).

The U.S. unemployment rate estimate was 7.3 percent, little changed from 7.4 percent in July and down from 8.2 percent one year ago.