More Data to Consider as Portland Debates Raising Its Minimum Wage

August 13, 2014 by

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

Maine’s Real Unemployment and Jobs Picture Reflects Continuing Challenges for Maine Workers

July 29, 2014 by

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

Flexible workplaces are good for Maine workers and Maine’s economy

July 10, 2014 by

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

Maine’s bankrupt health policy

July 3, 2014 by


This year, 1,300 Mainers will be saddled with catastrophic health costs.  Here’s how it could have been avoided – while c
reating thousands of jobs and boosting state GDP.

Medicaid-bankruptcy 7-3-2014Yesterday, 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

Percy Spencer’s Candy Bar: Health Care Reform and the Innovation Economy

June 24, 2014 by

Health Care Reform and InnovationYesterday, my scientist brother promised my eight-year-old son a new Hot Wheels car if he could research and explain how the microwave cooked his lunch.  My son vanished upstairs and came back triumphantly explaining how a scientist named Percy Spencer noticed the candy bar in his pocket melted after he stood next to an active radar set.  Mr. Spencer came back later with popcorn kernels in his pocket, and sure … Read the rest

What to Look for in Friday’s Jobs Report

June 19, 2014 by

Tomorrow, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its monthly state-by-state jobs and employment report. While the data are subject to revision and should be viewed with some skepticism, they help paint a picture of how Maine’s employment situation stacks up relative to other states.

In all likelihood, the story will remain much the same as it has been in recent months. Maine’s unemployment rate will likely … Read the rest

Jobs Recovery Nationally Showing Promise, But Maine Still Lags Far Behind

June 6, 2014 by

Today’s national jobs report highlights an important milestone. As a nation, we have recovered 101 percent of jobs lost during the recession. Clearly we are headed in the right direction but the recovery – especially here in Maine – is far from complete.

For starters, as our colleagues at the Economic Policy Institute point out, while we’ve recovered more than 100 percent of jobs lost, we’ve also grown our population … 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

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

Governor LePage deals another blow to Maine farmers and fishermen

April 24, 2014 by

Just as Governor LePage’s policies have taken health insurance away from Maine’s small farmers and fishermen, now he wants to take local business away from them too.

The governor vetoed a bill that would help local farmers and fishermen sell vegetables and fish to schools, hospitals, and other community institutions.

An Act To Support School Nutrition and Expand the Local Foods Economy (LD 1431) jumpstarts food hubs so that … Read the rest

« Previous PageNext Page »