Maine's unemployment rate in February was 7.1%, little changed from January's 7% rate and down from 7.9% in February 2011.
According to the Maine Department of Labor, the number of unemployed totaled 50,100, down 5,200 from a year ago. Estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate there were 598,100 non-farm payroll jobs in February, up 2,400 from the revised January estimate. The DOL said payroll job estimates increased rapidly the last two months, a trend that is likely to be reversed in the months ahead.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.3%, unchanged from January and down from 9% one year ago. The New England average was 7.1%; rates in other states in the region were 4.9% in Vermont, 5.2% in New Hampshire, 6.9% in Massachusetts, 7.8% in Connecticut and 11.0% in Rhode Island.