Maine Jobs Recovery Continues to Trail the Nation and New England

December 19, 2014 by

Beyond the good news, bad news stories of businesses expanding or shuttering are broader trends that affirm a critical challenge that too many Maine families are facing: there just aren’t enough good paying jobs to go around. Today’s Maine jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calls attention to this fact.

jobs-recovery-thru-november-2014-largerFor the month of November, Maine’s unemployment rate is 5.7%, roughly the same as the national … Read the rest

Maine’s Injured and Disabled Workers: A Humanitarian Challenge and an Economic Opportunity

December 15, 2014 by

Workers hurt on the job have no lobby in the State House, so little fanfare accompanied the Bureau of Labor Statistics release on workplace injury this week. But of the states submitting data, Maine’s rate of worksite injury is the highest in the nation: 5.3 injuries or work-related illnesses for every 100 workers. Nineteen Maine workers died on the job in 2013. This data means a lot for … Read the rest

In States Refusing Federal Coverage Funds, Rural Hospitals Pay the Price

December 1, 2014 by

Fifteen hundred hospital beds have vanished in rural America since 2010. The cause of the disappearing beds is no mystery:  rural hospitals are closing – and at a quickening pace.  Federal sequestration cuts and lower reimbursements from public and private insurers have hit U.S. hospitals’ bottom lines with a one-two punch.  But rural hospitals are hit particularly hard, because they are caught in a vise where they serve higher rates Read the rest

Migration Mythologists Flee Facts

November 24, 2014 by

Maine has gained more taxpayers and income than it has lost going back to the early 1990s, according to IRS tax records. In other words, for every Maine taxpayer who has moved out of state, a greater number of taxpayers have moved here to replace those who have left.

On net from 1993 to 2010, Maine added 903 taxpayers, more than 28,000 adults and children in taxpaying families, and about … Read the rest

Maine’s Jobs Recovery Still Weak

November 21, 2014 by

Today’s jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t give us much new information. Maine’s unemployment rate is about the same as the national rate at 5.8% and Maine has recovered less than 60% of the jobs it lost in the Great Recession, which ranks 44th among states.

Although slow population growth and aging baby boomers play some role in limiting our job growth in the … Read the rest

Maine’s Highway Fund is in Serious Trouble

November 10, 2014 by

Maine’s highway fund has nowhere near enough money coming into it to meet the state’s basic transportation needs, according to the biennial revenue and expenditure projection released earlier this fall by the state’s budget office.

According the budget office’s projections, the state will need to spend $924 million over the two-year period beginning in July, 2015 just to maintain minimally safe and efficient roads and bridges. But the state forecasts … Read the rest

Portland Continues to Drive Job Growth

October 29, 2014 by

The greater Portland area—extending from Kennebunk in the south to Freeport in the north—continues to account for most of the job growth in Maine over the past seven years, according to MECEP analysis of metropolitan area nonfarm payroll employment figures released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Since the Great Recession officially began in December, 2007, the Portland metropolitan area has added about 2,900 jobs, while the rest … Read the rest

Broadly-Measured Unemployment Continues Slow Road to Recovery

October 28, 2014 by

Although remaining well-above pre-recession levels, Maine’s “U6” rate of unemployment is showing signs of improvement along with the nation as a whole, according to data released last week by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. On average over the past year, Maine’s U6 rate of unemployment was 12.4%, virtually no different than the 12.5% rate in the nation as a whole. The pre-recession rates were between 8 and 9 percent … Read the rest

Education Funding Falters in Maine, Has Serious Repercussions

October 16, 2014 by

Maine cuts to school funding since the start of the recession are among the largest in the nation, and the deepest in New England, according to a new study released today. The report by the non-partisan  Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), Most States Still Funding Schools Less than before the Recession, found that Maine has cut investment in K-12 education by 13.3 percent since 2008, a … Read the rest

Maine’s Lack of Population and Job Growth Tamps Down Growth in Wages and Salaries

September 30, 2014 by

Today’s data release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows Maine’s personal income growth kept pace with the nation and the region in the second quarter of 2014, but Maine’s lack of population and job growth will make it difficult for the state to keep up over the long run.

Personal income is the sum of wages and salaries, fringe benefits, bonuses, income from investments, “pass through” income from businesses, … Read the rest

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