Maine unemployment rate 7.8 percent in June

Posted July 22, 2011, at 1:49 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Labor said the state’s unemployment rate for June was 7.8 percent, close to what it was a year ago.

Commissioner Robert Winglass said Friday the rate compares to 7.7 percent in May and 7.9 percent in June 2010.

The number of jobless people was down 800 from a year ago to 54,100.

The Labor Department said Maine’s preliminary figures compare favorably to the nationwide unemployment average of 9.2 percent. The New England average in June was 7.8 percent, identical to Maine’s jobless rate, and ranged from 4.9 percent in New Hampshire to 10.8 percent in Rhode Island.

In Maine, unemployment rates were lower in the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (6.1 percent) and Bangor (7.1 percent) metropolitan areas. Lewiston-Auburn was 7.6 percent.