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At time of low unemployment, Maine sees fewer jobless claims

June 19, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine Department of Labor is cutting back hours at its unemployment call center and laying off 10 employees at a time of historic low unemployment.

The department’s spokeswoman says unemployment claims are at a 32-year low.

The spokeswoman says Maine doesn’t have enough participants in the Reemployment Services and Eligibility Assessment program to ensure federal reimbursement for ten employees.

Participation in the program was 47 percent below what was required in February and in April, it was 23 percent lower.

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette says Maine’s the first state to take the step of putting the program on hiatus.

She says unemployment claimants will still receive job search services.

The department is upgrading its online unemployment system and rolling back hours at its unemployment claims call center.

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