Maine's unemployment rate last month was 7.4%, up from 7.2% in April but a drop from last May's 7.7%.
According to the Maine Department of Labor, the number of unemployed totaled 52,400, down 1,500 over the year. The rise in May is primarily due to a decline in employment, though DOL officials said it's unclear yet if it's the beginning of a trend. There were 592,600 nonfarm payroll jobs in May, little changed from the revised estimate for April. Declining state and local government jobs offset private sector gains, according to the release.
National employment growth has slowed significantly since winter, though Maine's employment-to-population ratio remains above the national average. The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.2%, and the New England unemployment rate was 6.8%. Rates in other states were 5% in New Hampshire, 4.6% in Vermont, 6% in Massachusetts, 7.8% in Connecticut and 11% in Rhode Island.
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