AUGUSTA — The preliminary unemployment rate for Maine was 7.3 percent in November, little changed from 7.4 percent in October, but down from 8.1 percent a year ago.

The number of unemployed people totaled 50,800, down 6,200 from a year ago.

The seasonally adjusted state unemployment rate has declined four straight months.

“While there are many factors that contribute to the calculation of the rate, we’d rather see it going down than up,” Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said. “The number of job postings, average hours worked, and retail sales are up from a year ago. That said, there are still too many people unemployed.”

The not seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in November, down from 8.0 percent a year ago. Not seasonally-adjusted rates ranged from 5.9 percent in Cumberland County to 10.5 percent in Somerset County. Rates were below the statewide average in the central, southern and mid-coast regions and above the average in northern and eastern regions.

Among metropolitan areas, unemployment rates were lower than the statewide average in Bangor (6.9 percent) and Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (6.0 percent) and slightly higher in Lewiston-Auburn (7.5 percent).

Detailed labor force and unemployment data for the state, counties, and 31 labor market areas, as well as nonfarm jobs data for the state and the three metropolitan areas is available at

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