There was little change last month in the labor markets of Maine’s largest urban areas. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded a .1 percent decline in joblessness in each of the three regions: Bangor, Lewiston-Auburn, and Portland-South Portland.
The unemployment rate in Bangor now stands at 3 percent, Lewiston-Auburn at 2.8 percent and Portland-South Portland 2.4 percent. The statewide unemployment rate in April was 3.1 percent.
There are bigger declines in joblessness if you look back a year. In April of 2017 Portland-South Portland’s unemployment rate was 2.7 percent, or .3 percent higher. Lewiston-Auburn had an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent (compared to 2.8 percent now) and Bangor’s unemployment rate is down a half-percent in the last year, from 3.5 percent to 3 percent.
In neighboring New Hampshire, the jobless rate fell slightly from March to April in Manchester, Dover-Durham, and Portsmouth. All three metro areas had unemployment rates below 3 percent.
The nation as a whole continues to do well economically. The bureau reports that in April unemployment went down in 305 metro areas and rose only in 63. Also, Portland-South Portland, Lewiston-Auburn, and the three New Hampshire metro areas were among 88 around the country with jobless rates below 3 percent in April.