Trostel quoted in Mainebiz article on hiring pressures, employee recruitment

Philip Trostel, an economics and public policy professor at the University of Maine School of Economics and Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, spoke with Mainebiz for the article, “Hiring pressures push companies to unprecedented lengths to find workers.” Maine’s unemployment rate in October was 3.4 percent, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Maine Department of Labor. October was the 35th consecutive month in which Maine recorded an unemployment rate below 4 percent, the longest such period since it began tracking the percentage, the article states. Trostel said he wonders how long Maine can sustain such a low jobless rate. “There is plenty of uncertainty and disagreement,” he said. “History over recent decades suggests that the current low unemployment rate is not sustainable. But the fact that there is still no strong evidence that wages are rising rapidly suggests the current rate is.” Maine’s part-time employees make up about a quarter of its workforce, which is higher than the U.S. ratio of 17.4 percent, according to federal government data for October. “Maine’s economy is seasonal, but the same is true elsewhere,” Trostel said. “Different states have different natural resources, different industries. But those differences aren’t so great as popular perception holds.”