- Associated Press - Friday, January 24, 2020

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine’s unemployment rate rose slightly in December, but continued a long stretch at very low levels.

The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 2.9%, up from 2.8% in November, the Maine Department of Labor said on Friday. The figure fell from 3.5% a year ago.

The state’s unemployment rate has been below 4% for four years. The labor department said the largest job gains were in the construction, leisure and hospitality and retail trade sectors. The state’s 15.8% share of government jobs is the lowest on record, the labor department said.

Similarly low unemployment rates were found throughout New England, where the six-state rate was 3%. The nationwide rate was steady at 3.5%.

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