Strong Job Growth In Maine Reported, Unemployment Remains at 5.7 Percent
The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate was 5.7 percent for May, unchanged from April and down from 6.7 percent one year ago, according to the Maine Labor Department. The number of unemployed declined 7,000 over the year to 40,600.
The share of the population that is employed was estimated at 61.6 percent, well above the U.S. average of 58.9 percent. May was the 80th consecutive month the employment to population ratio was above the national average. The U.S. unemployment rate estimate remained at 6.3 percent, down from 7.5 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate averaged 5.9 percent. Rates for other states were 4.4 percent in New Hampshire, 3.3 percent in Vermont, 5.6 percent in Massachusetts, 8.2 percent in Rhode Island, and 6.9 percent in Connecticut. Labor force and unemployment data the state, counties, and labor market areas is available here, http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/laus1.html.
The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate for May was 610,300, up 9,200 from one year ago. Private sector jobs were up 9,900, primarily in the leisure and hospitality, retail trade, professional and business services, and education and healthcare sectors. Those gains were partially offset by a decline of 700 jobs in government. Nonfarm payroll jobs data for the state and three metropolitan areas is available here, http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/ces1.html . Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in May, down from 6.6 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 4.6 percent in Cumberland County to 8.9 percent in Aroostook and Washington Counties. Rates tended to be lower than the statewide average in southern and central counties and higher than average in northern and rim counties. The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in all three metropolitan areas: Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (4.6 percent), Lewiston-Auburn (5.5 percent), and Bangor (5.7 percent).
Bruce Poliquin, Emily Cain Win Primary Races For Congressional District 2
Former State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin won Tuesday's Republican primary and will face the Democrat winner, State Senator Emily Cain, in the November election to represent Maine's Second District in the U.S. House of Representatives. That race was one of many primaries and other ballot issues that were decided by Maine voters on Primary Tuesday. The Portland Press Herald has results at this link: http://www.pressherald.com/primary-results/
Senator Thibodeau: Michaud's Call for More Government Not the Solution to Maine's Welfare Abuse Problems
"What Mike Michaud is proposing here is an expansion of government. The answer can’t be just to grow government. What he’s proposed here is almost a co-commissioner. That’s not the answer."
“It was Republicans, led by the Governor, who came forward with serious proposals (last session) to reform some of the waste, fraud and abuse and put into place policies that protect Maine taxpayers, and they were rejected overwhelmingly by Maine Democrats.
“Every morning when I go and buy a cup of coffee at the 'On the Run' in Winterport, I can’t get to the checkout line without someone coming up to me, wanting to talk about the welfare abuse and the fact that Maine Democrats rejected all of the commonsense proposals that were brought to them. People are incensed. They want this fixed.”
Governor LePage Appoints Richard Rosen as Acting Finance Commissioner
AUGUSTA — Governor Paul R. LePage announced the appointment of the Honorable Richard W. Rosen as Acting Commissioner of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS) effective June 1, 2014. Current DAFS Commissioner H. Sawin Millett, Jr. will retire on Saturday, May 31, 2014.
“I am pleased to appoint Richard Rosen as acting commissioner,” said Govenor LePage. “Richard has served the people of Maine well in every position he has held. While there are big shoes to fill with the retirement of Sawin Millett, I am confident DAFS is in very capable hands.”
Rosen, a native of Bucksport, joined the Department in February as Deputy Commissioner of Finance. He takes the helm of the Department with extensive legislative expertise in budget, tax, energy, and health and human services.
Prior to joining DAFS, Rosen served as the Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management. During the 125th Legislature, he served as the Senate Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs. He served as a senator from Senate District 31 for four terms and as a member of the Maine House of Representatives for three terms.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Governor LePage and the talented team at DAFS. Commissioner Millett has put together a remarkable team of individuals that will ensure a smooth transition,” said Deputy Commissioner Rosen. “DAFS will continue to be a proactive and innovative service organization that provides leadership and accountability to executive branch departments.”
In addition to his public service, Rosen owned and operated Rosen’s, a department store located in Bucksport, with his wife, Kimberley, for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of the University of Maine and serves on the boards of the Retail Association of Maine, Bucksport Regional Health Center, Acadia Hospital and Northeast Historic Film.