In this Aug. 25, 2021, file photo, a hiring sign hangs on the door of the Bradford General Store. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Fewer Mainers received unemployment benefits last week, when weekly payments reached their lowest level since November 2019, the Maine Department of Labor said Thursday.

The department said about 3,400 people received an unemployment benefit payment during the week that ended Oct. 16, down about 400 people from the previous week.

About 600 initial claims were filed for state unemployment insurance, down about 200 claims from the previous week. The department also recorded 50 initial claims filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a decrease of about 50 claims from the previous week.

Some 800 unemployment claimants reported partial earnings for the week ending Oct. 16.

The weekly claims declines reflect national data. For the same week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims were down by 6,000 to 290,000, the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020.