Maine’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December 2017 declined slightly to 3.0 percent from 3.3 percent in November, according to preliminary estimates from Maine’s Department of Labor.

It was the 27th consecutive month that Maine’s unemployment rate has been below 4 percent. The low rate reflects a historically tight labor market in which employers are finding it difficult to find qualified workers, but efforts to entice more people into the state’s workforce may be bearing results.

Estimates of the state’s labor force participation rate – a measure of how many working-age Mainers are either working or actively seeking a job – increased from 62 percent in late 2015 to around 64 percent last fall.

The estimated total number of employed Mainers also rose, according to separate estimates from the Current Employment Statistics survey. In December 2015, there were an estimated 613,300 Mainers employed in nonfarm payroll jobs; in December 2017, that estimate had risen to 622,600.

December estimates for other New England states ranged from a 2.6 percent jobless rate in New Hampshire to 4.6 percent in Connecticut.

The estimated December jobless rate for the nation as a whole was 4.1 percent.