Maine’s unemployment rate for December was 7.3 percent, little changed from 7.2 percent in November, but up from 7.0 percent a year ago.

The state had about 51,400 people unemployed, up 1,600 from a year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The national unemployment rate was 7.8 percent, unchanged from November and down from 8.5 percent a year ago.

For New England, the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent. Rates ranged from 5.1 percent in Vermont to 10.2 percent in Rhode Island.

The non-seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in December, up from 7.0 percent a year ago. The not seaonally adjusted rates for the counties ranged from 5.6 percent in Cumberland Country to 10.1 percent in Hancock County.

The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in all three metro areas: 5.9 percent in the Portland, South Portland, Biddeford market; 6.8 percent in Bangor and 7.1 percent in the Lewiston-Auburn area.