A help wanted sign hangs in the window of Fork & Spoon on Main Street in Bangor. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

AUGUSTA, Maine — The number of new jobless claims in Maine trended up last week in defiance of a national trend.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in 52 years last week. In Maine, however, the number of initial claims grew by more than 400 to more than 1,250, the Maine Department of Labor reported.

Unemployment claims in Maine fell by more than 100 during the previous week, and remain well below last year’s levels. The state’s unemployment level of 4.9 percent in October was about the same in the previous year.

Nationally, the jobs picture has been mixed. The U.S. Department of Labor reported last week that employers added just 210,000 jobs, but also said the unemployment rate dropped to a pandemic low in October.