Augusta, Maine (Monday, August 19, 2013) Garrett Martin, Executive Director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP), issued the following statement concerning the July employment report released today by the Maine Department of Labor. The July unemployment rate for Maine was estimated to be 6.9%, which is statistically no different from the 7.3% rate it was a year ago.
“Maine’s July employment report shows continued weakness in the labor market. Maine hasn’t added jobs or reduced unemployment over the past year. July 2013 was statistically no different than July 2012, in terms of total nonfarm payroll jobs or the unemployment rate. More than four years since the official end of the Great Recession, Maine has reclaimed only 10,500 of the nearly 29,500 jobs lost as a result of the worst recession since the Great Depression. These data also fail to account for the thousands who have either stopped trying to find a job or are working only part time. Coupled with long-term trends of stagnant or shrinking wages for low- and middle-income Maine workers, this jobs report is a sobering reminder that Maine workers remain in crisis and that Maine’s economy is falling further behind the rest of New England and the nation.”