Tuesday, May 21, 2013
AUGUSTA — Maine's unemployment data rose slightly in June to 7.5 percent, up from 7.4 percent in May, according to the state Department of Labor.
Workers frame walls at MaineGeneral's new regional hospital under construction in North Augusta in this May 27, 2012, photo. The $312 million project was expected to generate 400 to 500 construction jobs over the summer.
Staff photo by Joe Phelan
The state unemployment data has been slowly ticking higher over the past several months. The state attributed the rise since February, when unemployment was 7.1 percent, to declining estimates of the number of employed people, partially reversing the rapid employment rise that household survey estimates indicated in the latter part of 2011.
Regardless of the higher rate of unemployment, Maine continues to fare better than the nation. The state has lower unemployment, higher rates of labor force participation, and a higher share of population that is employed than the nation as a whole.
Throughout the state, the unemployment rate was below the statewide average in Portland-South Portland-Biddeford at 5.9 percent, and higher than the statewide average in Bangor (7.4 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (7.7 percent).
For the month of June, the unemployment rate for all of New England was 6.8 percent. Rates in other states ranged from 4.7 percent in Vermont to 10.9 percent in Rhode Island.