AUGUSTA — Maine’s unemployment rate went up slightly last month, but remains much lower than it was a year ago.

The Department of Labor said Friday that Maine’s unemployment rate in August was 7 percent. That’s 0.1 percent higher than was reported in July and 0.2 percent higher than was reported in June when the state hit a 4½-year low of 6.8 percent.

The rate is down from 7.3 percent one year ago. The department says it’s estimated that 50,000 Mainers were unemployed in August, 1,700 fewer than year ago.

The department said that the recent upward trend doesn’t necessarily mean workforce conditions are deteriorating. It says it’s not unusual for the downward trend at the beginning of the year to be reversed toward the end of the year.

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