What is Maine’s Unemployment Rate? October Update


Today, the Maine Department of Labor released new unemployment data.  The data reveals a mixed picture. 

First, Maine’s labor force dropped in October after posting modest increases in August and September. The drop puts the labor force back at the same level it was in April/May, 2006.

Correcting for the drop in the labor force that began in January, 2009, shows the “modified unemployment rate” at 9.5 percent versus the reported “unemployment rate” of 8.2 percent (click “continue reading” to view chart).

Second, in contrast to the shrinking labor force, employment jumped by 1,021 between September and October.  This begs the questions: how can employment go up when people are leaving the labor force.  This seems counter intuitive . . . see my next blog post for a possible explanation.