Maine’s unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.3 percent in September, but remained under 4 percent for the 34th consecutive month, the state Department of Labor said Friday.

The seasonably adjusted rate was up slightly from 3.2 percent in August and was unchanged from a year ago, the department said.

Maine’s jobless rate for the month remained below the national rate of 3.7 percent in September and also below the New England average of 3.6 percent. New Hampshire had the lowest unemployment rate in the region at 2.7 percent, followed by Vermont at 2.9 percent, Massachusetts at 3.6 percent, Rhode Island at 3.9 percent and Connecticut at 4.2 percent.

Maine has been grappling with how to fill job vacancies across all business categories in the midst of historically low unemployment.

The state had 628,700 non-farm jobs in September, according to preliminary estimates by the Department of Labor, an increase of 4,500 jobs from September 2017.

Private sector jobs increased 4,100 to 528,000 over the past year, with gains mostly in the health care, hospitality and manufacturing sectors, the department said. Government jobs increased by 400 to 100,700, with much of the gain in federal government jobs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

Overall 61.6 percent of the Maine population was employed in September, the department said, higher than the national average of 60.4 percent.

Removing adjustments for seasonal variations, the statewide unemployment rate was 3.0 percent, the department said, and ranged from a low of 2.4 percent in Sagadahoc and Hancock counties to a high of 4.3 percent in Somerset County. The Portland-South Portland metro area had a jobless rate of 2.5 percent, compared with 3.1 percent in the Lewiston and Bangor metro areas.

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:

[email protected]

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