Maine’s future economic success depends on having a well-skilled workforce able to tackle the challenges of the twenty-first century – and the means of developing that workforce is through the education of our children. Research indicates that investment in education is not only one of the best economic decisions a state can make, but that the earlier we direct resources at students, the more impact it has on … Read the rest
For months, we’ve written about Maine’s anemic economic recovery relative to the rest of the country. Today’s August jobs report does little to change that story. Maine has recovered just 63 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession and still ranks 43rd among all states and Washington, DC in its jobs recovery. By contrast, the US has recovered 110 percent of jobs lost in the recession and … Read the rest
Increasing Maine’s earned income tax credit and raising the state’s minimum wage would go a long way toward making work pay for Maine’s families today and lay the foundation for a stronger economy tomorrow, according to new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
With wages for the typical Maine worker still well below pre-recession levels and no signs of growth in sight, lawmakers should act immediately when … Read the rest
The new report by the Alliance for a Just Society, “Families Out of Balance: How a living wage helps families move from debt to stability,” provides sobering data about how much Mainers must earn just to make ends meet.
Simply put, wages in Maine are insufficient to cover the cost of living – and even though the recession is officially over, too many people remain under- or un-employed. The … Read the rest
The facts are shocking. In the U.S. today, 1 in 7 Americans―more than 46 million people, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors―rely on food pantries and food kitchens to eat.
Of the households trying to stave off hunger,
- 4% have someone in their home in active military service.
- 34% have at least one member working.
- 55% have unpaid medical bills.
- 66% have stopped buying medicine in order to
The July jobs report, released today, raises continued concerns about the strength of Maine’s economic recovery. The state’s July unemployment rate of 5.5 percent remains unchanged from a month ago and is below the U.S. unemployment rate of 6.2 percent for July. That’s good, but today’s data also shows Maine losing ground in terms of job growth.
Maine dropped 900 jobs from the adjusted figures for June including 600 … Read the rest
Late last month, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan announced the initial details of his plan to raise the city’s minimum wage. If passed, the bill would likely raise the wage from its current $7.50/hour to $9.50/hour in January 2015, with anticipated hikes following in each of the next two years.
The final fate of the proposal is still at least a few months away, but one thing is certain from … Read the rest
Over 90,000 Mainers are still struggling to find work according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A stubbornly large number of part-time workers who want more work but can’t find it is driving this trend.
The “U6” alternative measure of unemployment, which accounts for unemployed workers who have recently stopped looking for work and workers with part-time jobs who want more work but can’t find it, … Read the rest
Workplace flexibility policies would benefit Maine’s working families and its large population of senior workers as well as its economy. Workplace flexibility means the acceptance of adjustments to the 9-5, 40 hour in-office work week, and could include accommodations like: flexible hours; paid vacation, sick, and parental leave; job sharing; telecommuting. Maine legislators should consider legislative initiatives either to establish such policies or to incentivize employers to take the initial … Read the rest
This year, 1,300 Mainers will be saddled with catastrophic health costs. Here’s how it could have been avoided – while creating thousands of jobs and boosting state GDP.
Yesterday, the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) released a report examining the differences between states that have accepted federal healthcare funds to expand Medicaid and the minority of states – including Maine – which still have not expanded. Fittingly, … Read the rest