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Updated: July 24, 2023

Maine nonfarm jobs slip in June as rain dampens tourism

"Now Hiring" Sign outside a hotel parking garage Photo / Renee Cordes Maine employers are still hiring, despite in a slight decline in jobs in June.

Maine nonfarm wage and salary jobs decreased by 2,900 in June to 643,100 as rainy weather hurt the tourism sector.

Half of the decrease was in the leisure and hospitality and retail industries, the Maine Department of Labor said in its latest monthly barometer released on Friday.

Preliminary data show that the number of leisure and hospitality jobs was 1% lower than the previous month, while the number of retail jobs dropped by 0.5%.

Manufacturing and professional and business services sectors also registered declines, amid closure of the Pixelle paper mill in Jay and layoffs of temporary workers producing COVID test kits.

In late June, Puritan Medical Products announced plans to cut 272 jobs, months after Abbott Rapid Diagnostics filed WARN notices with the Maine Department of Labor saying it was cutting 418 jobs in Westbrook.

Most other sectors saw small job gains or were unchanged in June.

Maine's unemployment rate, which is determined in a separate survey, remained at a record low for the third straight month.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.4% in June, below the 3.6% U.S. rate and 2.8% for New England.

From April to June, Maine's unemployment rate was an average 2.4%, down from 2.8% for the three months though March. Labor force participation and employment rates both increased in the latest three-month period.

Among Maine's three metropolitan areas, unemployment was below the statewide average in Portland/South Portland and close to the average in Bangor and Lewiston-Auburn.

Across the state's 16 counties, the jobless rate ranged from a low of 2.0% in Sagadahoc County to a high of 3.7% in Aroostook County.

The Maine Department of Labor is scheduled to release July data on Aug. 18. 

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