The unemployment rate within the United States is often discussed in the news, yet many people remain unaware of what this rate indicates as well as the purpose of it. The jobless rate measures the amount of residents who are unemployed out of the total number of workers in the labor force. To calculate the unemployment rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics hosts two surveys in order to retrieve data, which then is processed down into a percentage. The jobless rate fluctuates on a monthly basis, indicating job growth, job loss as well as monitoring the workers who enter the workforce and leave the workforce. The importance of monitoring the unemployment rate is to see the state of the economy and potentially highlight employment sectors, such as the unemployment insurance program, that may need future assistance of budgeting.
For those asking the question, “What is the unemployment rate in Maine?” the answer is 3.2 percent, as of May 2017. Since the jobless rate has not been this low in 40 years, this is great news for those living in Maine. The unemployment rate in Maine saw major gains in areas of construction, trade, utilities, transportation, education and health care over the past year. Labor markets are in great shape in Maine and the overall economic recovery is becoming a reality. Maine is well below the national average, which is 4.3 percent. Another major factor in the unemployment rate in Maine comes down to demographics. Older workers are retiring more often and leaving the workforce completely and retirees affect the unemployment rate. Not only has this led to an increase in available job, but also reduces the consumption of unemployment insurance benefits from out-of-work laborers.
For those in Maine affected by the jobless rate or struggling with unemployment, the state offers unemployment insurance benefits for qualified applicants. Eligibility requirements vary state-by-state, so it is important to be familiar with eligibility prior to the starting the application process. Unemployment benefits can work to supplement income as a temporary wage compensation.