AUGUSTA (AP) – Maine’s unemployment rate rose from 4.6 percent in June to 4.8 percent in July, matching a national increase, state Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said Friday.

Fortman said the preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate compared to 4.9 percent a year ago.

“The trend of slow job growth continued in Maine as the number of seasonally adjusted nonfarm wage and salary jobs rose by 1,200 between June and July to 614,900. Small gains were recorded by most of the major industries. The only job loss was recorded by government,” Fortman said in a statement.

State Labor Department officials said that between July 2005 and July 2006 the total number of nonfarm wage and salary jobs rose by 3,300.

But not-seasonally-adjusted nonfarm wage and salary jobs in Maine fell by 2,200 between June and July to 624,700, officials said.

Officials said local government jobs dropped by 13,500, due to seasonal reductions of nonprofessional staff in local schools, while the losses were mostly offset by seasonal gains in leisure and hospitality services, retail trade, construction, and professional and business services.

AP-ES-08-18-06 1353EDT

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