AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman says the state’s unemployment rate in July was 8.4 percent, down from a revised 8.6 percent in June.

But the preliminary figure released Friday is also 3 percentage points higher than the July 2008 figure.

Fortman says that after the number of nonfarm jobs leveled off in May and June, it declined 1,500 in July to just under 597,000. Fortman says a volatile economic situation compounded by poor weather impacted tourism-related industries, although job losses were spread across a number of sectors.

Education and health services showed a pattern of growth.

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