Maine’s unemployment rate for July was 6.9 percent, litte changed from June when the rate was 6.8 percent and down from 7.3 percent a year ago, according to the state Department of Labor.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that 48,800 Mainers were unemployed, down 3,000 over the year.

Maine’s unemployment rate was below the national unemployment rate of 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in June and 8.2 percent a year ago.

Maine’s unemployment rate was lower than the overall New England rate of 7.2 percent. The rates ranged from 4.6 percent in Vermont to 8.9 percent in Rhode Island.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Maine’s statewide unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in July, down from 7.2 percent a year ago. The rates ranged from 5.4 percent in Knox County to 9.3 percent in Washington County.

Among metro areas, the unemployment rate was below the statewide average in the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford area (5.6 percent) and close to the the statewide average in Bangor (6.9 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (6.8 percent).