Maine jobless rate down slightly

Posted May 22, 2009, at 12:12 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman says the state’s preliminary seasonally-adjusted April unemployment rate was 7.9 percent.

That’s down slightly from 8.1 percent for March and up from 5.1 percent for April 2008.

The national unemployment rate was 8.9 percent for April.

Fortman said Friday that although it’s the first time in a year that Maine’s unemployment rate came in significantly below the national average, it is probably not because of improvement in the global economy.

She said the size of the labor force has decreased for the last three months, in part because some discouraged workers gave up their job search and are no longer counted.

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