AUGUSTA — The growth in unemployment claims in Maine is largely due to seasonal factors, the Maine Department of Labor said.

Jobless claims in the state grew from 813 to 1,262 in the week that ended Dec. 4, federal labor officials reported. The growth happened in a week in which initial claims grew from 216,985 to 280,665 at the national level. Neither figure is seasonally adjusted.

The uptick in claims in Maine is consistent with trends that predate the COVID-19 pandemic in which there is often an increase in unemployment claims this time of year due to seasonal layoffs, said Jessica Picard, a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Labor.

Maine’s unemployment rate for October was 4.9%, about the same as it was a year previous. That’s the most recent month with available statistics.

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