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October 23, 2017

Maine labor market remains tight

As the summer tourism season winds down and the school year is under way, labor market conditions remained tight throughout much of the state, according to September's statewide employment report from the Maine Department of Labor.

The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.7% for September was little changed from 3.8% for August and 4% one year ago. The number of unemployed was down 1,500 over the year to 26,100. At 24 months, this is the second longest period in more than 40 years that the unemployment rate has been 4% or less.

The U.S. preliminary unemployment rate of 4.2% for September was down slightly from 4.4% for August and down from 4.9% one year ago. The New England unemployment rate averaged 3.9%.

September unemployment rate estimates for other states in the region were 2.7% in New Hampshire, 2.9% in Vermont, 3.9% in Massachusetts, 4.2% in Rhode Island, and 4.6% in Connecticut.

Maine's employment-to-population ratio estimate of 61.8% remained above the U.S. average of 60.4%.

Among Maine counties, the lowest rate was 2.5% in Cumberland and Sagadahoc and the highest was 4.8% in Washington.

The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in the Portland-South Portland metro area (2.5%) and close to the average in the Lewiston-Auburn (2.9%) and Bangor (3.1%) metro areas.

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