Change Indicator

Unemployment rate, annual average in Maine

Unemployment rate, annual average

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Why This Indicator Matters

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics "When workers are unemployed, they, their families, and the country as a whole lose. Workers and their families lose wages, and the country loses the goods or services that could have been produced. In addition, the purchasing power of these workers is lost, which can lead to unemployment for yet other workers."

Why it is important:
Work is often the route to financial independence for families in poverty. Even though a minimum wage job is not enough to lift a family out of poverty, in most circumstances, families have more income if they work than if they do not.

What the data shows this year:
The year 2020 was the year that the Covid-19 epidemic hit, which caused job losses all over the country. In Maine, the annual unemployment rate reached 5.0% in 2020, or an 83%. In 2021, employment rebounded and Maine's state unemployment average annual rate was 4.6%. In 2022, Maine's annual unemployment rates went even lower, at 2.8%. In 2023, the annual average unemployment rate remained very low, at 2.9%

Maine's annual unemployment rate of 2023 of 2.9% was lower than the national average of 3.6%.
National Annual Average Unemployment Rate,  All states saw dramatic decreases in unemployment from 2020 to 2023.

The counties that had the lowest annual unemployment rates in 2023 were: Cumberland (2.4%) and Sagadahoc (2.3%) The counties with the highest unemployment rates in 2023 were: Somerset (4.2%), Piscataquis (4.2%) and Washington (4.1%).
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Definition and Source



Unemployment is the estimated annual average number and percent of people in the civilian labor force who are unemployed and looking for work. The numerator is the average number of people unemployed and looking for work and the denominator is the average number of people in the civilian labor force who are either working or looking for work.

Data Source

Maine Department of Labor Average Annual Unemployment Rate County


The annual average is not a point of time measure like the monthly unemployment, but rather an average over the course of all 12 months. The 2022 figures were revised to reflect slightly different numbers updated on Maine Department of Labor's site.

Last Updated

March 2024