AUGUSTA – The jobless rate in Maine fell again to 5.9 in March, from 6.1 percent in February and 6.8 percent on year ago.
“The number of unemployed declined 6,700 over the year to 41,800,” according to a press release from the Maine Department of Labor. “The share of the population that is employed reached 61.8 percent, well above the U.S. average of 58.9 percent. March was the 78th consecutive month the employment to population ratio was above the national average.”
Maine’s unemployment rate continues to be lower than the national average of 6.7 percent and the New England average of 6.3 percent. New Hampshire and Vermont are the only New England states with lower unemployment rates, at 4.5 and 3.4 percent, respectively.
Maine’s unemployment rate will factor strongly into the 2014 gubernatorial election, as Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s challengers make the case that his economic policies are taking Maine in the wrong direction.