Unemployment rate in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "When workers are unemployed, they, their families, and the country as a whole lose. Workers and their families lose wages, and the country loses the goods or services that could have been produced. In addition, the purchasing power of these workers is lost, which can lead to unemployment for yet other workers."

Why it is important:
Work is often the route to financial independence for families in poverty. Even though a minimum wage job is not enough to lift a family out of poverty, in most circumstances, families have more income if they work than if they do not.

What the data shows this year:
The year 2020 was the year that the Covid-19 epidemic hit, which caused job losses all over the country. In Maine, the annual unemployment rate doubled from 2.7 in 2019 and 2010 to 5.4% in 2020.

Maine's  annual unemployment rate of 2020 of 5.4% was below the national average of 8.1%. 
National Annual Average Unemployment Rate, however all 50 states saw dramatic increases in unemployment from 2019 to 2020.

The counties that had the largest gains in unemployment were paradoxically, the three counties that had the lowest unemployment rates the year before: York, Cumberland and Sagadahoc. For the annual unemployment rate of 2020, the counties of Sagadahoc and Kennebec had rates under 5%. By contrast, Oxford, Franklin Somerset and Washington Counties had rates of 6.1% to 6.7% for the annual average of 2020.
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Definitions: Unemployment is the estimated annual monthly average number and percent of people in the civilian labor force who are unemployed and looking for work. The numerator is the average number of people unemployed and looking for work and the denominator is the average number of people in the civilian labor force who are either working or looking for work.

Data Source: Maine Department of Labor Annual Average
Unemployment Annual County Average

Footnotes: Updated September 2021