May 17, 2013

Maine's unemployment rate reaches four-year low

By J. Craig Anderson canderson@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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A help wanted sign on the door of Lovell Designs in Portland's Old Port hints of better unemployment numbers. Photographed on Friday, May 17, 2013.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

That's a good sign, he said. "There's some faint optimism."

On Exchange Street in Portland's Old Port, several merchants had "Help Wanted" signs in their windows Friday.

Betina Clark, retail manager at Lovell Designs, at 26 Exchange St., said the jewelry store is just coming into its busy season and is looking to hire a few staff members.

"We're already seeing an increase in business," she said.

At the nearby Leather Exchange, at 38 Exchange St., retail clerk Kasia Kaczynski said her boss has been looking for two months to replace two employees who left, one for graduate school and the other to work in the culinary field.

"I'm not sure why it's taking so long," Kaczynski said.

Marcia Leander, assistant vice president of staffing for Unum, which has a large claims-processing center in Portland, said the insurance company is still finding plenty of viable candidates for entry-level positions but the market has tightened considerably for experienced information-technology and finance personnel.

"With the unemployment rate where it is, we've been really lucky to have robust talent pools for administrative and entry-level jobs," Leander said.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

canderson@pressherald.com

Twitter: @jcraiganderson

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Today's poll: Maine's economy

Do you think the economy in Maine is improving?

Yes

No

View Results