Maine jobless rate unchanged since ’06


AUGUSTA (AP) – Maine’s unemployment rate remained frozen at 4.7 percent for the fifth consecutive month in December, the state Labor Department said Tuesday.

Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said Maine continues to record growth in the number of residents employed, with 1,100 jobs added between November and December to a total of 616,300.

But the unemployment rate has remained unchanged as the rising number of people employed has been offset by an increase in the number of Maine residents active in the labor force, Fortman said.

The figures released Tuesday are adjusted to reflect seasonal fluctuations in the labor market.

Maine’s 4.7 percent December unemployment rate was slightly higher than the national rate for the month, 4.5 percent.

Other New England states reporting seasonally adjusted jobless rates for December include New Hampshire, 3.5 percent; Connecticut, 4.2 percent; Rhode Island, 5.2 percent, and Massachusetts, 5.3 percent, the Labor Department said.

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AP-ES-01-23-07 0958EST