Maine Department of Labor and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released November workforce estimates for the state. Labor force and unemployment estimates are based on the population age 16 and over. Unemployment rates decreased from one year ago in all 16 counties.

Seasonally Adjusted Estimates

Maine Household Survey Estimates: The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate of 2.8 percent for November is unchanged from October and down from 3.5 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed is down 5,000 over the year to 19,400. Maine’s unemployment rate has been below 4 percent for 47 consecutive months.

Maine Payroll Survey Estimates: The preliminary estimate of 633,200 non-farm payroll jobs in November is up 5,200 from one year ago. The private sector estimate of 533,000 jobs is up 5,300 over the year, with the largest gains in the leisure and hospitality, retail, manufacturing, and construction sectors. The government estimate of 100,200 jobs has not changed significantly in the last five years. The 15.8 percent share of jobs in government is the lowest on record.

The employment-to-population ratio estimate for Maine of 60.5 percent is slightly lower than the 61 percent U.S. average for November. This reflects the fact that Maine has a higher proportion of retirement-age population.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Estimates

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate estimate of 2.7 percent for November is down from 3.3 percent one year ago. Unemployment estimates are lowest for Sagadahoc County (2 percent) and highest for Aroostook and Somerset counties (3.9 percent). Unemployment rates decreased from one year ago in all 16 counties and are the lowest on record in 11 counties. (Previous lows for Cumberland, Aroostook, Knox, Lincoln and York counties were in 1999 or 2000.) Rates are also the lowest on record in two of the state’s metropolitan areas: 2.6 percent in Bangor and 2.6 percent in Lewiston–Auburn. The rate in Portland–South Portland was 2.2 percent.