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Maine Adds 4,100 Jobs In March Even As Unemployment Holds Steady

Virus Outbreak US Surge
Robert F. Bukaty
AP file
Shoppers comply with the mask regulations to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus at Bridgton Books, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Bridgton, Maine.

Maine added 4,100 jobs in March. State Labor Department official Glenn Mills says it was the biggest such gain since last September.

"Most of that gain was in the two sectors that have been the most impacted by the pandemic: education, both public education and private education, K-12 and higher ed, and also leisure and hospitality. Restaurants, hotels and the like," he says.

Maine's unemployment rate held steady last month at 4.8%. Mills says that's because more Mainers re-entered the workforce, helping to fill those extra jobs. But he says there are people, some of them parents, who are unable to look for work right now, meaning the true measure of joblessness in Maine is probably higher than 4.8%.

Mills says Maine is still about 30,000 jobs short of where it was before the pandemic.

"Unemployment is elevated and we are on a good path of recovery from this pandemic, but we have a ways to go," he says.