Maine’s unemployment rate also doesn’t reveal the level of under-employment.
In 2017, 26,000 residents — more than the number of those who were jobless — worked part-time because of the lack of full-time openings, according to an analysis by the Maine Center for Economic Policy, a nonpartisan think tank. Data also showed that much of the state’s workforce is seasonal, with one-third not working year-round at a single job.
Part-time and seasonal workers are five times more likely to be living in poverty than full-time and year-round employees, the analysis noted.
“Despite low unemployment and recent economic growth, too many Maine workers and families struggle to make ends meet. Middle-class jobs have disappeared in large numbers and are being replaced by low-wage jobs with greater uncertainty,” policy analyst James Myall wrote in the center’s report.