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April 23, 2012

Unemployment rate 7.2% in March

Maine’s unemployment rate continues to hover just over 7%. The rate was 7.2% in March, little changed from 7.1% in February.

March’s seasonally adjusted rate, however, is down from 7.8% one year ago, according to a press release from the Maine Department of Labor. The number of unemployed totaled 51,300, down 3,300 from a year ago. The 0.2-percentage-point rise in the unemployment rate since January is primarily due to more than 1,200 entering the labor force, as employment was little changed, according to the release. Federal estimates indicate there were 595,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in March, down 2,700 from the revised February estimate.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.2%, little changed from 8.3% in February and down from 8.9% one year ago. The New England average was 7.0%; rates in other New England states were 4.8% in Vermont, 5.2% in New Hampshire, 6.5% in Massachusetts, 7.7% in Connecticut and 11.1% in Rhode Island.

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