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Maine jobless rate steady at 4 1/2 year low

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Maine's jobless rate has remained steady at its lowest level in more than 4 1/2 years.

The Maine Department of Labor said on Thursday that June's jobless rate was 6.8 percent. That's unchanged from May and down from 7.3 percent one year ago.

Before May, the last time the rate was as low as 6.8 percent was in November 2008. It's also 0.8 percent lower than the national rate.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage says about 8,000 more Mainers are working in the private sector now than when he took office in 2011 when the unemployment rate was 8 percent.