Unemployment rate drops in Maine and around the country

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PORTLAND, Maine — Maine's labor officials say the unemployment rate dropped slightly in December.

Maine Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette says the preliminary seasonally adjusted rate was 5.5 percent, down from 5.7 percent in November and 6.4 percent in December 2013. The number of unemployed people dropped 6,700 over the course of the year to 38,400.

The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/1yn6Dde ) says the employment-to-population ratio estimate of 60.8 percent remained above the nationwide average of 59.2 percent. Maine's figure has been higher than the country's for 87 consecutive months.

The national preliminary unemployment rate of 5.6 percent was down from 5.8 percent in November and 6.7 percent a year ago.

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