October Employment Report Finds “Maine’s Jobs Crisis Persists”

Augusta, Maine (Tuesday, November 20, 2012) Garrett Martin, Executive Director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP), issued the following statement concerning the October employment report released today by the Maine Department of Labor. The October unemployment rate for Maine was 7.4%, down from 7.6% in September but still higher than the 7.3% rate in October 2011. Maine unemployment remains below the U.S. rate of 7.9%, but this gap has closed significantly from a year ago when the U.S. rate was 8.9%.  

“The latest employment statistics demonstrate that Maine’s jobs crisis persists nearly four years after the end of the Great Recession. Maine continues to rank near the bottom of states in terms of job growth over the last year. While these numbers are preliminary, Maine’s job count at 595,300 nonfarm jobs means we’ve had virtually zero job growth in three-and-a-half years. We have over fifty thousand unemployed Mainers and thousands more who have left the labor force altogether or can’t find more than part-time work with no benefits. At the state level, we can’t take away people’s health care, pass on the cost of education and other vital services to local property taxpayers and cut our way to prosperity. We need to level the playing field to ensure that the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes, and make investments that help create good jobs with higher wages and better benefits.”