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April 16, 2021

Maine unemployment rate stays flat, while job growth picks up

The pace of economic recovery in Maine accelerated during March, with the largest job gains since September, the state Labor Department said Friday.

Nonfarm payroll jobs increased 4,100 to 609,600. Most of the gains were in education and hospitality, two sectors that have been heavily affected by the pandemic.

The number of unemployed Mainers was little changed at 32,600 and the unemployment rate remained 4.8%.

Labor force participation edged up slightly to 60% for the month. If participation were as high as it was a year ago, the number of unemployed workers in Maine would be 27,800 higher for March and the unemployment rate would be 8.6%, according to a Labor Department news release.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 6% for March, and rates for other states in New England were: Connecticut, 8.3%; Massachusetts, 6.8%; New Hampshire, 3%; Rhode Island, 7.1%; and Vermont, 2.9%.

Unemployment rates for Maine metro areas, based on data that was not seasonally adjusted, were: Bangor, 4.9%; Lewiston-Auburn, 5.2%; and Portland-South Portland, 4.8%.

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