PORTLAND (AP) — Maine’s unemployment rate remained firm in July at 5.5 percent, the lowest in nearly six years.

The Maine Department of Labor said Monday that the state’s jobless rate remains lower than the national rate, which was 6.2 percent last month.

The rate is unchanged from June and is down more than 1 percent since last year. The department says the number of unemployed Mainers was 38,800, down 8,700 people over the year.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage says the state has made progress but still faces economic challenges. He says Maine must continue working to bring companies to the state, which will attract more young people and families.

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