All posts by Darren Fishell

Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.

Report: Maine among least affordable states for renters

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A report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition has put Maine among the states where it’s hardest to afford housing and rated the Bangor and Portland areas as equally difficult to make rent on a two-bedroom apartment. The report compared federal estimates of fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment with wage data from states and metro areas, measuring where the gap is the […]

Maine unemployment is down from 2007. Underemployment is not

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Explaining what variations in the unemployment rate mean is tough. The standard measure doesn’t really capture the elements of the first question you’d likely ask a friend: “How’s work?” Alternative measures of the jobless rate by state are available and get a little closer at answering the question of “how’s work?” for entire states, but there’s still plenty of details […]

Lobster exports dipped, but remained Maine’s top export

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The Maine International Trade Center on Monday received a top award for helping promote exports from Maine, an area where lobster has come to dominate in recent years. The award gives occasion to revisit Maine’s export history, with census data that goes back to 2002 for a range of 5,808 different commodities (coded by the U.S. International Trade Commission’s Harmonized Tariff […]

What the food stamp analysis does and doesn’t tell us

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Here’s what the state study of food stamp recipients released Wednesday tells us: about 58 percent of the 6,866 “able-bodied adults” who lost SNAP benefits because of new work requirement rules at some point in the next year received wages from an employer, and at a steadily increasing rate. The preliminary findings line up those facts, but the report and its authors don’t draw a […]

How Maine’s population has shifted over 155 years, in one chart

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As recently as 1960, Aroostook County had more people than York County. In 1860, Washington County had a larger population than most of the midcoast. Changes during the past 155 years give a shorthand look at Maine’s economic and political history, with southern and central Maine counties gaining in Maine’s population rankings. Below, each county is represented by a line, tracking its rank in each census […]

Cruz, Sanders, Clinton upped Maine cash haul in March

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Underdog presidential candidates continued to hold favor with Maine’s largest individual campaign donors through March, as libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s campaign put its first point on the scoreboard here. On the Republican side, Maine caucus winner and Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz continued to report the most vigorous fundraising operation in the state. Democratic donors continued to favor Vermont U.S. Sen. […]