State Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman announced the preliminary unemployment rate for Maine was 8.3 percent in December, up from revised rates of 8.0 percent in November and 6.5 percent a year ago.

The number of unemployed totaled 58,300, up 12,000 from a year ago. The national unemployment rate was 10.0 percent, unchanged from November and up from 7.4 percent a year ago.

Non-farm payroll employment increased 200 in December to 588,800.

The largest over-the-month job gains were in the education, health care, leisure and hospitality sectors.

The largest job losses were in the retail trade; manufacturing; transportation, warehousing and utilities; and professional and business services sectors.

“Although the unemployment rate was up 0.3 percent, the rate of non-farm job loss has abated in recent months both nationally and in Maine,” Fortman said.

Through December, the number of non-farm jobs was down 16,000. Over 80 percent of net job losses were in the manufacturing, construction, retail trade, and government sectors.

Education and health services remained the only sector with net job growth in the last 12 months.

December seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in other New England states were 7.0 percent in New Hampshire, 6.9 percent in Vermont, 9.4 percent in Massachusetts, 12.9 percent in Rhode Island, and 8.9 percent in Connecticut.

The New England average was 9.0 percent.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data

The not seasonally adjusted Maine unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in December, up from 6.9 percent a year ago.

Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates ranged from 6.4 percent in Cumberland County to 11.8 percent in Piscataquis County.

Over the year, unemployment rates increased in all counties, with the largest increases in Down East and western rim counties.

The unemployment rate was up 1.5 percent or more from a year ago in Franklin, Oxford, Waldo and Washington counties.

Among the three metropolitan areas, unemployment rates were lower than the statewide average in Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (6.7 percent) and Bangor (7.3 percent).

The rate was higher in Lewiston-Auburn (8.5 percent).

Detailed labor force and unemployment data for the state, counties, and 31 labor market areas, as well as non-farm jobs data for the state and the three metropolitan areas, is available at