- Associated Press - Friday, April 18, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine officials say the state’s unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent in March.

The state Department of Labor reported Friday that the unemployment figure fell from 6.1 percent last month and 6.8 percent a year ago.

The share of the population that is employed was 61.8 percent, which is 2.9 percent more than the national average. The department said March was also the 78th consecutive month the employment to population ratio was above the national average.

The national unemployment rate estimate for March was 6.7 percent, while New England’s estimate was 6.3 percent. Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate in New England at 3.4 percent, while Rhode Island was highest at 8.7 percent.

The state’s figures for Maine are seasonally adjusted.

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