Out of work, out of hope – This is what a depressed economy looks like

September 21, 2017 by

James Myall

Tens of thousands of Mainers disheartened by the dim prospects of good paying, middle-class jobs have given up looking for work. Some are discouraged to the point of despair, turning to substance misuse and even suicide. That’s the stark and somber finding of MECEP’s latest report, The State of Working Maine 2017.

Using numerous data sets and incorporating the latest national research, the State of Working MaineRead the rest

Looming state shutdown dangerous for Maine’s economy

June 23, 2017 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

As the state’s two year budget comes due, Republican lawmakers continue to hold negotiations hostage over demands to repeal the voter approved 3% surcharge on household income over $200,000. The state is just seven days away from a potential state shutdown if a budget isn’t enacted on June 30th. Analysis released by the Maine State Employees Association and MECEP Friday shows the devastating impact a state shutdown could … Read the rest

A Higher Minimum Wage is Good for Tipped Workers

April 4, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

Workers who rely on tips don’t benefit from the existence of a lower tipped minimum wage. That’s the conclusion of a variety of sources that compare the earnings of workers in those states without a “tip credit” and those which maintain one. Maine’s tipped minimum wage is due to be gradually phased out by 2027, but a series of pieces of legislation have been introduced to roll back … Read the rest

The Tipped Minimum Wage is Unfair and Discriminatory

April 3, 2017 by
James Myall

James Myall

Imagine you’re a cashier  at the height of flu season and three of your coworkers called in sick on a Saturday afternoon—one of the busiest times of the week. Lines are long, customers are grumpy, and your efforts to keep the line moving prevent you from being as personable as you would be under other circumstances. Despite circumstances beyond your control customers keep docking your pay. Through no Read the rest

Question 2 will create a strong economy, thriving communities, and successful kids

November 1, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

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

Maine’s Economic Recovery: Limited job growth, persistent underemployment, and declining incomes

September 19, 2014 by

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

A simple 1-2 punch to give working Mainers a raise

September 5, 2014 by

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

Maine’s Working Families Deserve to Earn a Living Wage

August 27, 2014 by

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

LePage Proposal Will Exacerbate Maine’s Hunger Crisis

August 19, 2014 by

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
Read the rest

July jobs report: Maine continues to lag US, New England recovery

August 18, 2014 by

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

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