Maine’s job market was relatively unchanged in April, with unemployment hovering just over 3%, according to the Maine Department of Labor.

The number of nonfarm jobs has been relatively stable, and the preliminary unemployment rate remained low at 3.1%, down slightly from 3.3% in March, the department reported Friday.

The three-month average for the period through April decreased 0.1 points from the previous three months through January, based on seasonally adjusted statewide labor force estimates.

These estimates are based on two monthly surveys by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: the Current Population Survey, which collects data from households on labor force participation; and Current Employment Statistics, which surveys nonfarm employers by industry on the number of wage and salary jobs, hours worked and wages paid.

Unemployment in Maine has been below 4% for 29 months – the second-longest such period – and below the U.S. average for all but two months over more than 16 years. Unemployment was also below the long-term average of 5.5% for the state since January 1976, when the current methodology was adopted.

Unemployment averaged 3.3% for New England and 3.9% nationally in April, the department said in a statement.

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