Maine unemployment rate stays at 7 percent, under national average

Posted March 13, 2012, at 11:37 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Labor Department says January’s unemployment rate was 7 percent, the same rate as December.

Commissioner Robert Winglass said Tuesday the preliminary, seasonally adjusted rate was down 1 percentage point from January 2011.

For the month, 49,500 Mainers were unemployed, compared to 56,000 who were jobless a year earlier. Cumberland County had the lowest jobless rate, while Washington County had the highest.

Unemployment rates across New England range from 5 percent in Vermont to 10.9 percent in Rhode Island, with the regional average coming in at 7.2 percent. The national jobless rate in January was 8.3 percent.