4.5 Years after the Recession, Low- and Middle-Income Families are Still Hurting (Retail Sales Edition)

February 28, 2014 by

Just last week, Walmart made headlines with a weak forecast for profits and sales at US stores. Low- and middle-income families are the core of Walmart’s customer base, and they are still struggling more than four-and-a-half years since the official end of the recession.

“The world’s largest retailer, which gets more than half its sales from groceries, on Thursday gave a disappointing full-year forecast. It blamed sharp cuts in food … Read the rest

Older Mainers are Driving Maine’s Employment Recovery

February 27, 2014 by

 Maine’s older adults are driving Maine’s employment recovery from the recession. Not only do 55-and-older Mainers represent a disproportionately large share of Maine’s total population, they have increased their attachment to the labor force and employment faster than their peers in every other state over the past four years. As a result, they are responsible for most of the growth in Maine’s rate of employment over the past four years.Read the rest

The Truth about Governor LePage’s Own Jobs Claim

February 19, 2014 by

In Governor LePage’s recent State of the State address he touted his economic performance stating “Almost 13,000 new private-sector jobs have been created since we took office.”

Taken in isolation, this sounds pretty good. But compared with how other states have fared, Maine’s job creation performance leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, based on MECEP’s analysis of the most recent jobs data from the Bureau of Labor StatisticsRead the rest

State Policies Are Failing Maine’s Working Moms

February 12, 2014 by

In 2012, women headed one of every three low-income working families in Maine, according to a new report released today by the Working Poor Families Project.

These are women who are working, but still do not earn enough to meet their families’ needs. Maine’s economic policies are failing these low-income, female-headed households.

The report, “Low-Income Working Mothers and State Policy: Investing for a Better Economic Future,” lays out policies … Read the rest

Good news, bad news

February 5, 2014 by

Maine state government ranked above average for its sound budgeting practices in a report released yesterday by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. But, while Maine is better than many states at fiscal planning, there’s more we can do, especially around evaluating tax breaks for lucrative out-of-state corporations.

The good news: On a scale of 10, Maine ranked 7 for doing prudent things like producing an independent forecast of … Read the rest