BANGOR – Maine’s job market is gradually getting better even with COVID-19 cases on the rise.
The coronavirus pandemic damaged the labor market for many Mainers.
However, the deputy director of Maine Department of Labor said the economy is recovering.
“The stay at home orders are not as strong and more businesses are opening. People are generally getting more comfortable of being outside, so there’s been a gradual gain in jobs,” said Glenn Mills, deputy director of the Maine Department of Labor.
According to Mills, nearly 105,000 jobs were lost in March and April.
With capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements in place, restaurants, child care, and hotels took the hardest hit, according to Mills.
However, since the economy is reopening, there has been a slight turnaround.
“We gained back just over half of the jobs that were lost, so February and April minus 105,000 jobs. Since April we’ve gained back almost 54,000 jobs,” said Mills.
Mills said certain industries that we depend on everyday such as construction and transportation weren’t impacted as much.
According to the director of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, the unemployment rate decreased by 6.1%.
“If you also looked at the labor force participation that was placed in February, then today’s unemployment rate would not be 6.1%, it would be more like 9.2. So you can see that all things considered even though that 6.1% expresses probably in reality a higher number than that,” said Dana Connors, CEO of Maine State Chamber of Commerce.
Mills said York County and Portland were heavily impacted in the beginning, but now they have moved toward the middle of the pack.
He believes once there is a vaccine, things will get back to normal.