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Business and Economy

Maine Unemployment Rate Up in June

Maine’s unemployment rate has crept upward to 3.7 percent in June. That’s two-tenths of a percent higher than the previous month, but lower than the national average.

Still, some economic analysts say Maine’s job creation effort still has a long way to go.

The news of the slight uptick in unemployment was not a surprise to Mark Sullivan at the progressive Maine Center for Economic Policy, who said Maine was one of only six states where unemployment increased in a month of strong national job growth.

“The fact is that the Great Recession has been over for seven or eight years now and Maine still hasn’t recovered all the jobs we lost then, so it’s no surprise that we’re still struggling to get the jobs back,” Sullivan says. “It’s a pretty rocky road right now for anybody who’s trying to get a job in Maine.”

According to the Maine Department of Labor, the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was up from 3.5 percent in May. That’s down from 4.4 percent a year ago. In contrast, the national unemployment rate of 4.9 percent was down from 5 percent in April and 5.3 percent a year ago.

State officials said Maine’s unemployment rate was lower than the New England rate of 4.4 percent. The lowest rate in the region was in New Hampshire, where it was 2.8 percent. The highest rate of 5.8 percent was in Connecticut.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.