The rate of unemployed Mainers dropped from a revised December 2013 rate of 6.4 percent to 6.2 percent in January — down from 7.0 percent one year ago, according to MDOL. The state continues to see a workforce participation rate (61.2 percent) higher than the national average (58.8 percent).
MDOL reports the following: “The U.S. unemployment rate estimate was 6.7 percent, little changed from 6.6 percent in December and down from 7.7 percent one year ago. The New England estimate was 6.7 percent. Rates for other states were 4.9 percent in New Hampshire, 4.0 percent in Vermont, 6.8 percent in Massachusetts, 9.2 percent in Rhode Island, and 7.2 percent in Connecticut.”
The health of Maine’s economy, as reflected by unemployment figures, continues to be a large theme in the 2014 gubernatorial race. Both independent Eliot Cutler and Democrat U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud have criticized the economic policies of Republican Gov. Paul LePage and published economic plans of their own.