Will Maine ever again party like it’s 1989?

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Have you heard Chris Soper’s song about the Bucksport mill closing? Give it a listen. It’s about Verso’s decision to close its mill, but tugs at a larger national issue. The Washington Post last week started a series on America’s middle class starting with a piece titled, “Why America’s middle class is lost.” It opens with a focus on […]

What Maine’s labor force has more than any other state

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So, if you clicked on this post, you just want to know one thing. The answer is loggers and people in logging-related professions. That is, logging equipment operators make up about 11 times the share of total employment in Maine as they do nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Vox and Business Insider, which specialize in these “what’s the […]

Census: A greater share of Maine 20-somethings are in poverty

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The U.S. Census Bureau unloaded gobs of data about gobs of places in the country today, but focused on changes among the country’s population between 18 to 34 — a group I’m just calling 20-somethings. Now, if you’re thinking not some more messy old spreadsheets, think again! In writing about a group of people who grew up alongside the Internet, the Census […]

A tale of Maine retail: December sales have dipped in recent years

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Nationwide, retail sales are projected to increase again after a 3.1 percent increase in November and December of 2013, but Maine sales in retail categories likely on shoppers’ lists have fallen in recent years. It’s hard to isolate what would be deemed holiday shopping, but state sales tax data does give us a look at the categories of stores that are likely […]

Bangor and The County lead growth in personal income in 2013, but…

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The Bangor metropolitan area and Aroostook County led the state for growth in personal income per person from 2012 to 2013, but that doesn’t necessarily mean people have more money in their pockets than one year prior. The 2013 figures for all counties and metropolitan areas in the country shows the the total personal earnings (and transfer payments […]

Is your Facebook feed nothing but politics? In Maine, probably

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It’s one thing to get bombarded by political advertisements like never before, but political chatter in Maine’s making things personal, at least for Facebook users. Facebook provided The Washington Post’s Darla Cameron with data showing nearly one in five Facebook users in Maine have either posted about the elections or liked a candidates’ page from July 10 to Oct. 19. That’s the most […]

Mill job losses add to long decline for Maine paper industry

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Maine pulp and paper mills have taken a series of hits this year with the closure of three mills and the cumulative loss of about 1,000 jobs. It’s an industry in decline, leaving hundreds out of work in Old Town, East Millinocket and, starting Dec. 1, in Bucksport. There’s more to this story than numbers, as is clear from the way workers […]

Just how accurate are Maine’s monthly unemployment estimates?

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So, everyone, let’s all talk about the elephant in the room: The unemployment estimates out Friday. Missed them? Well, if you were following along through the morning, you may have been confused about just when was the last time that preliminary estimates of unemployment rose in Maine. That may have been my fault. (It was a year ago, but […]

More of the same: Slow Maine GDP growth fuels political haymaking

Maine’s metropolitan areas lagged growth rates for other areas of the country in the last year, continuing a longer term trend in Maine’s economy. In one-year and 12-year comparisons, growth in the value of goods and services coming from Maine’s major metropolitan areas is below the median for metropolitan areas around the country. While there’s little difference in comparisons […]