Maine’s Jobs Recovery is Mostly in Portland

May 29, 2014 by

4 out of every 5 jobs that Maine employers have added in the last five years have been in the greater Portland area, according to data released yesterday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The Portland area—spanning from Kennebunk in the south to Freeport in the north—has added 7,800 nonfarm payroll jobs since the end of the recession in June 2009, while the remainder of the state has only … Read the rest

Higher Education Pays Dividends to Taxpayers, Too

May 16, 2014 by


Mainers with college degrees earn more over their lifetime than Mainers without them, but all Maine taxpayers share in the benefits as well, according to new estimates by University of Maine economist Phil Trostel, in the third installment in a new series of reports published by the Maine Development Foundation.

Mainers with Bachelor’s degrees will pay about $136,000 in state and local taxes over the course of their lifetime, while … Read the rest

Between the lines of stockholder calls, refusing Medicaid expansion bad for hospitals’ balance sheets

May 14, 2014 by

First-quarter financial results are in, and the CEOs of some of America’s publicly-traded hospitals systems are finding Medicaid expansion is good for business. And they are reporting big differences between their facilities in states that have expanded Medicaid and the hospitals in states still refusing federal healthcare dollars.  In states that have accepted federal healthcare funds and worked to promote the ACA, hospital executives are realizing significant increases in the … Read the rest

Employer Mandate: Theory, practice and those pesky federal deficits . . .

May 13, 2014 by
Mitchell Stein

Mitchell Stein

The Urban Institute (UI) recently released a new analysis of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer mandate (Why Not Just Eliminate the Employer Mandate?) and what the impact would be if the employer mandate were eliminated.

UI concludes that:

“. . . eliminating the employer mandate will not reduce insurance coverage significantly, contrary to its supporters’ expectations. Eliminating it will remove labor market distortions that have … Read the rest

Much of New Hampshire is a Bedroom of Massachusetts

May 9, 2014 by


Yesterday’s report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities briefly touches on another fact about New Hampshire that anti-tax activists never mention: much of the state is a bedroom of Massachusetts. By waking up in New Hampshire and driving to Massachusetts for work, tens of thousands of New Hampshire residents earn higher wages, on average.

Analysis of county-to-county commuting flows (available here, from the Census Bureau) shows that … Read the rest

Taxes Have Little Effect on People’s Decisions about What State to Live In

May 8, 2014 by

A lengthy and exhaustive new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities confirms what reality-based analysts have known for a long time: state taxes do not weigh heavily in people’s decisions about where to live and work.

Among the report’s conclusions, most of which will be familiar to folks who have been following this issue:

  • A very small fraction—no more than 2 percent—of Americans move to another state
Read the rest

Maine’s Large Number of “Involuntary” Part-time Workers Showing No Sign of Decline

May 7, 2014 by

Maine’s official unemployment rate continues to fall along with the nation as a whole, but “underemployment” is as big a problem as ever, according to data released late last month by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The number of part-time Maine workers who want more work but can’t find is showing no sign of decline. Maine’s share of employed workers who are involuntary part-timers is the fifth highest … Read the rest

More evidence that accepting federal funds to expand health care is the right prescription for Maine

May 6, 2014 by

A new study finds that Romneycare – the Massachusetts health insurance program that was used as a model for the Affordable Care Act – has prevented 230 deaths a year since it began in 2006.  Since this study collected data on 270,000 people for a full four years – not just the initial months after people were covered – this is the best evidence yet that health insurance and access … Read the rest