AUGUSTA (AP) – Maine’s unemployment rate dropped by 0.3 percentage point in May to 4.5 percent, the Baldacci administration said Friday.

But the jobless rate, adjusted to account for seasonal fluctuations in the labor market, was still higher than the 4.2 percent recorded in May 2002, Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said.

Maine’s unemployment rate was well below the national May 2003 rate of 6.1 percent.

Fortman said that neither the state’s adjusted unemployment rate nor the number of nonagricultural jobs has fluctuated much all year. May’s total of 605,200 jobs is about equal to the January total of 605,400, she said.

Other New England states reporting their seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for May include New Hampshire, 3.9 percent; Vermont, 4.1 percent; and Connecticut, 4.9 percent.

AP-ES-06-20-03 2001EDT

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