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

Commissioner Robert Winglass said today 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.

The New England average was 7.2 percent. Rates in the region’s other states were 5.2 percent in New Hampshire, 5.0 percent in Vermont, 6.9 percent in Massachusetts, 10.9 percent in Rhode Island, and 8.0 percent in Connecticut.

The national jobless rate in January was 8.3 percent, down from 8.5 percent in December and 9.1 percent one year ago.

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