Maine’s jobless rate rises to 8.3 percent

Posted June 18, 2009, at 8:58 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — State officials say Maine’s unemployment rate rose in May to 8.3 percent, up from 7.9 percent in April and 5.1 percent a year ago.

That compares to a national unemployment rate for May of 9.4 percent, which is up from 8.9 percent in April and from 5.5 percent in May 2008.

State Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman announced the preliminary seasonally adjusted May rate Thursday. She said Maine experienced a net loss of 1,200 seasonally adjusted nonfarm wage and salary jobs between April and May.

State officials said that between May 2008 and May 2009, the number of seasonally adjusted nonfarm wage and salary jobs fell in Maine by 21,600.

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