There are more jobs in Maine now than ever before, report says

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 4:41 PM EST
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Maine (WABI) - The Maine Department of Labor says the number of non-farm jobs in the state has reached an all-time high.

According to a report released Friday, the number of nonfarm wage and salary jobs increased by 1,100 in October to 650,300. That number comes after a larger-than-usual upward revision for September and breaks a trend of little change for the first half of the year.

Labor officials say almost half of the job growth in October was in retail. Jobs increased by 8,900 from one year ago, and the average for August to October increased by 3,700 from the three months through July.

The unemployment rate for Maine in October was 2.8%, up slightly from 2.7% in September. Unemployment in Maine has been below four percent for 23 consecutive months – the second longest period on record.

The increase in unemployment for August (2.4 percent) through October is due to a larger increase in labor force participation than in employment. The report from the Labor Department says the private sector workweek averaged 33.6 hours, and earnings averaged $30.48 per hour in October. Average hours decreased by 0.2 and hourly earnings increased by 3.7 percent from a year earlier. Earnings increases were led by a 11.4 percent gain in manufacturing. The workweek was longest in construction and shortest in leisure and hospitality. Earnings were highest in professional and business services and lowest in leisure and hospitality.

Hourly earnings were higher than the statewide average in the Portland-South Portland metro area and slightly lower in the Bangor and Lewiston-Auburn areas.