AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine labor officials say unemployment has held steady in the early part of the year.

The Maine Department of Labor says the unemployment rate of 3.5 percent has not changed since August. The rate is up slightly from 3.2 percent a year ago.

Maine's unemployment rate remained below the national rate of 4 percent in January. The nationwide unemployment rate has also held steady in recent months, and is similar to the rate from a year ago. New England's unemployment rate in January was 3.3 percent.

Maine officials say the state's unemployment rate has been below 4 percent for 37 consecutive months, which is the longest stretch on record.​