Maine’s unemployment rate fell slightly in September to 4.4 percent, the state Department of Labor reported Tuesday.

The preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down from 4.5 percent in August and 5.6 percent in September 2014. September’s unemployment rate was the lowest it has been since April 2006. The number of unemployed Mainers actively seeking jobs declined by 8,800 over the year to 30,200.

The department’s estimate of the employment-to-population rate for Mainers age 16 and over was 59.9 percent in September, the lowest it has been in more than three years. The share of employed population is likely to gradually trend lower in Maine as large numbers of baby boomers retire, the department said. The U.S. average share of employed population was 59.2 percent in September.

The U.S. preliminary unemployment rate of 5.1 percent was unchanged from August and down from 5.9 percent one year ago, the department said. The New England unemployment rate averaged 4.6 percent. Rates for other states were 3.4 percent in New Hampshire, 3.7 percent in Vermont, 4.6 percent in Massachusetts, 5.4 percent in Rhode Island, and 5.2 percent in Connecticut, it said.


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