The Maine Department of Labor released year-end unemployment estimates for December showing the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8%, down slightly from 4.0% in November and 4.1% from a year ago.  By comparison, The U.S. preliminary unemployment rate of 4.7% was little changed from 4.6% in November and down from 5.0% one year ago.

The New England unemployment rate averaged 3.5%. Rates for other states were 2.6% in New Hampshire, 3.1 % in Vermont, 2.8% in Massachusetts, 5.0% in Rhode Island and 4.4% in Connecticut.

Non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates ranged from 2.6% in Cumberland County to 5.5% in Somerset County. Rates tended to be lower than the statewide average in southern and central counties and higher than average in northern and rim counties.

The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in all three metro areas: Portland-South Portland (2.6%), Lewiston-Auburn (3.0%) and Bangor (3.3%).