AUGUSTA (AP) – Maine’s unemployment rate was unchanged in August at 5.5 percent, but state Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman says labor market conditions continued to weaken.

Fortman says the number of Maine residents that are employed has been slowly declining from a peak reached earlier this year.

Labor Department officials said the preliminary seasonally-adjusted August unemployment rate of 5.5 percent for August was unchanged from 5.5 percent for July, but up from 4.8 percent for August 2007.

The national unemployment rate rose from 5.7 percent for July to 6.1 percent for August.

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