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September 24, 2018

Maine jobless rate up slightly in August, now below 4% for longest period on record

Maine seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.2% in August, up slightly from 3.0% in July but marginally lower than 3.4% a year ago, according to preliminary data released on Friday.

Maine has now had an unemployment rate below 4.0% for 33 consecutive months, the longest period on record, according to the Maine Department of Labor.

The number of unemployed declined 1,400 since a year ago, to 22,400.

U.S. unemployment was at 3.9% in August, unchanged from July and down from 4.4% a year earlier.

The New England average for August was 3.6%, with New Hampshire at 2.7%, Vermont 2.8%, Massachusetts 3.6%, Rhode Island 4.0%, and Connecticut 4.3%. The employment to population estimate of 61.8% remained above the 60.3% U.S. average.

Within Maine, unemployment rates not adjusted for seasonal factors was lowest in Sagadahoc County and highest in Aroostook and Washington counties. And in Franklin and Piscataquis counties, unemployment rates in August were the lowest on record.

Among metro areas, unemployment rates were below the statewide average in the Portland-South Portland area (2.4%) and close to average in Lewiston-Auburn (3.0%) and Bangor (3.1%).

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