Maine’s 2.7% unemployment rate in September remained at near record lows, rising only 0.2% from August’s rate.

The small rise was attributable to a slight increase in labor force participation and not from a decrease in employment, the Maine Department of Labor said.

The report reflects Maine’s enduring labor crunch. An unemployment rate of 3%-5% is generally considered an indicator of a robust economy.

This year, unemployment estimates have not deviated by more than 0.2% for the entire year except in July. The only exceptions were increased staffing at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and hiring in Maine’s hospitality sector, which is seasonal and varies throughout the year.

Among the state’s three metro areas, unemployment in September was below the statewide average in Portland-S. Portland (2.2%) and close to the average in Bangor (2.5%) and Lewiston-Auburn (2.7%).

Nationally, the unemployment rate in September was 3.6%.

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