Maine’s economy pivots to quick growth in first quarter

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Maine’s economy grew at the ninth-fastest rate in the country during the first quarter of 2016, turning around a steep decline in the same quarter one year earlier. The mostly nonexistent Maine winter likely helped speed growth in real gross domestic product, which trailed only New Hampshire’s for the first quarter, according to figures released Wednesday from the U.S. […]

Trump finally starts raising some money in Maine

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Donald Trump’s Maine fundraising jumped about 810 percent in June, compared with a rather slow May. That’s a striking increase, made less impressive by the fact that he’s still raised less here than the senator and primary challenger he insulted as “Little Marco,” who dropped out in March. At the state level, Trump raised one-fifth the amount of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign haul of $100,000 in […]

After Orlando, handgun demand spiked in Maine and elsewhere

A handgun is pulled form the case at the "Ready Gunner" gun store In Provo, Utah, U.S. in Provo, Utah, U.S., June 21, 2016. REUTERS/George Frey  A handgun is pulled form the case at the "Ready Gunner" gun store.

In line with past patterns, background check requests from Maine gun dealers spiked in June, following the country’s deadliest mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Maine background checks for handguns jumped about 18 percent in June, compared with one year earlier. More striking is the longer-term rise in handgun permit requests. Using a 12-month moving average, background checks for […]

One thing’s for sure, Trump’s not in Maine for the money

BANGOR, MAINE -- 06/29/2016 - Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump supporters wait inside the Cross Insurance Center Wednesday in Bangor to listen to Trump during his first visit to Bangor. Ashley L. Conti | BDN

As Donald Trump prepares to rally supporters in Bangor, it’s clear from his campaign finance reports that the visit isn’t for the money. From the start of his campaign through the end of May, Trump has raised a paltry $7,356 in itemized donations in Maine. That’s just from donors giving $200 or more. The tally excludes people who gave $5 and $10 there, but indeed paltry is an […]

Not only is Maine aging, we’re now losing 20-somethings, too

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The census estimate of Mainers in their 20s dropped last year for the first time since 2010 as the ranks of the retirement-aged continued to grow. The latest detailed population estimates from the Census Bureau provide a look at the estimated population by single-year ages, up to 84 years. I’ve put those ages into larger groups below. The latest figures show dynamics behind the […]

How many in Maine have left the office behind? Have you?

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A new group launching in Portland this week hopes to get better information about the group of people who, generally, don’t work out of the same building as their boss. Broadly, that means people who can work from pretty much anywhere with an internet connection. Ryan Wallace, director of the Muskie School’s Center for Business and Economic Research, says there’s not good information […]

On jobs, compare your community with the neighbors

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The Maine Department of Labor has published a new look at annual unemployment data, letting users zero in on a specific area of the state and its neighboring communities. Follow the steps in the interactive map below to see annual unemployment rates for specific communities and the surrounding areas.  For reference, the statewide average unemployment rate for 2015 was […]

Where political cash bought a whole lot of nothing Tuesday

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Money did not rule the day for candidates in primary contests Tuesday, particularly for the three-way Democratic primary in Portland’s Senate District 27. That primary had most of my attention looking at campaign spending Tuesday night because my eyes are on the money (I also happen to live in the district). In this post, I’ll also give a look […]