Maine’s unemployment rate held steady in December at 3.4 percent.

The state’s jobless rate was also 3.4 percent in October and November, but the December rate was up slightly from the same month a year ago, when it was 3.1 percent.

Maine’s unemployment rate has been under 4.0 percent for 37 straight months, extending the longest period on record, the Maine Department of Labor said.

The U.S. unemployment rate in December was 3.9 percent and the New England unemployment rate was 3.4 percent. Among the other New England states, jobless rates were 2.5 percent in New Hampshire, 2.7 percent in Vermont, 3.3 percent in Massachusetts, 3.9 percent in Rhode Island and 4.0 percent in Connecticut.

The estimated number of non-farm payroll jobs in Maine during December was 628,100, up 4,300 from a year ago. The state Department of Labor said job gains during the month were in the hospitality, retail and manufacturing sectors and the number of government jobs was up 200 to 100,000 jobs.

Unemployment rates by county ranged from 2.4 percent in Cumberland and Sagadahoc counties to 4.9 percent in Somerset County.

The Portland-South Portland metro area had an unemployment rate of 2.5 percent. The rate in Lewiston-Auburn was 3.0 percent and in Bangor it was 3.3 percent.

County and metro unemployment rates are not adjusted to take into account seasonal variations in the number of people seeking jobs and the number of jobs available, but statewide unemployment numbers are seasonally adjusted.


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