Trevor Dugal (right), who is graduating from the University of Maine with a degree in finance, looks for career opportunities at a job fair held by the Maine Department of Labor on April 21 at the Bangor Mall. Nikki Fletcher (left), VP, human resources officer at Bangor Savings Bank, talks with Dugal. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Maine’s workforce conditions are strengthening, with nonfarm jobs rising to an all-time high in October, the Maine Department of Labor reported Friday.

Nonfarm jobs, which are seasonally adjusted, increased to 641,900 in October, up 9,100 since June. The numbers show a large gain and strengthening workforce conditions compared with a very sharp loss in April 2020.

“The jobs are most of the way back to the level they were before the pandemic,” Glenn Mills, deputy director of the department’s Center for Workforce Research, said.

The department also said the unemployment rate increased 0.3 percentage points to 3.6 percent in October compared with September. And the labor force participation rate was down 0.1 percentage points to 58.3 percent.

Those rates have continued deteriorating since June, but Mills said the sample size for that data is too small. He said the employment situation is more accurately portrayed by the jobs numbers.

Jobs have been steadily rising since the steep dropoff when COVID-19 hit Maine in March 2020 and work restrictions went into effect. There have been some slight decreases on the path to job recovery when virus cases flared up.