Maine’s unemployment rate hit a two-year low in April with many parts of the state’s economy surging beyond pre-pandemic job levels.

The statewide unemployment rate dropped to 3.3 percent last month, the lowest point in more than two years and near the historic lows before the pandemic. The total number of jobs was almost unchanged at around 639,300, nearly on par with the pre-pandemic number.

Maine gained an average of 3,400 jobs a month for the three months through April, mostly in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, healthcare and social assistance, and professional and business services.

Many industries, including manufacturing, construction, educational services and professional and business services, now have as many or more jobs than they did before state shutdowns and public health concerns upended the labor market.

Despite job gains, thousands of workers remain out of the job market. The state’s labor force participation rate in April was about 59 percent, about 3 percentage points lower than before the pandemic. That number translates to nearly 20,000 people no longer working or looking for work in Maine.

The state’s labor economists suspect many of the workers who have left the labor force since 2020 are older and retired earlier than expected.

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