Maine unemployment rate 7.7 percent in May

Posted June 17, 2011, at 3:24 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Labor Department says the state’s unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in May, up slightly from 7.6 percent in April.

But the preliminary figures released Friday also say May’s rate was lower than 8 percent a year ago. The number of unemployed people in Maine totaled 53,800 in May, down 2,100 from a year ago.

Labor officials say May’s unemployment rates were lower than the statewide average in all three metropolitan areas, which encompass the Portland area, Bangor and Lewiston-Auburn.