Unemployment rate stays low



ELLSWORTH—The tight job market doesn’t seem to be changing fast. According to data released this week by the Maine Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in Hancock County was up in September over last year but remained one of the lowest in the state. The change was very slight: from 2.4 percent in September 2017 to 2.5 percent last month. Those numbers are not seasonally adjusted, meaning they do not account for predictable seasonal fluctuations in employment rates.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.3 in September, the same as last year.

Around 23,200 Maine residents were unemployed in September. Jobs were gained in the health care, hospitality and manufacturing sectors. A number of government jobs were added as well — largely due to increases in employment at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

The statewide unemployment rate ticked back up since dipping to 2.7 percent in April, but remained below the national average of 4.2 percent in September.

Kate Cough

Kate Cough

Kate covers the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. She lives in Southwest Harbor and welcomes story tips and ideas. She can be reached at [email protected]