January unemployment rate in ME was 3 percent

Unemployment in Albania drops

The U.S. preliminary unemployment rate of 4.1 percent for January was unchanged from December and down from 4.8 percent a year earlier.

The recalculations showed for the fourth consecutive year that the jobless rate wasn't quite as improved as initially thought for much of 2017. It also puts the state in line with the national average of 4.1 percent. Both have stayed in place since then.

The state unemployment rate held steady in January while jobless numbers rose in Southwest Florida according to a new report out Monday.

Manufacturing jobs were up by more than 3,100 in January. Niobrara County had the lowest unemployment rate with 2.3 percent, and Teton County was next with 2.5 percent.

The low unemployment rates appear to be translating to higher wages for those with jobs. Seasonally adjusted monthly labor force data have been revised for 1976-2017 as required by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Other sectors with gains included construction, up 800, health care and social assistance, up 800, and leisure and hospitality, up 900.

Accommodations and food services have also shown strong signs of growth with 3,600 jobs added since a year ago.

Trade, transportation and utilities declined by 2,600, with retail trade suffering a 2,300 hit, due in part to recent layoffs and closures in the sector. Growth was mostly centered in state and local government.

"The state's slightly higher unemployment rate suggests that the state has a little more slack available in its labor force, which should be a positive for economic development", said Mark Vitner, senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities.

Hawaii had the lowest state unemployment rate in the nation in January, at just 2.1 percent.

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