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.

Does a weak loonie put a dent in Canadian tourism to Maine?

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The Canadian dollar is at its weakest since December 2005. But the loonie’s current slump, to about 77 cents to the U.S. dollar Wednesday, comes at an unusual time of year: the peak season for Canadian tourism to Maine. That has some in the hospitality industry concerned that Canadian tourists will forego trips or curtail spending on their vacations, as the Canadian dollar […]

Maine gets ranked 42nd in fiscal health

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Analysis by a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has placed Maine 42nd in the state for fiscal health, due largely to its poor ranking for short-term insolvency. The overall ranking is based on 2013 audited financial reports for the states, assessing their ability to pay short-term and long-term obligations. Maine ranked 50th for cash-on-hand based on […]

Cold winter didn’t sap Maine maple syrup production

Maine produced more maple syrup in 2015 than the previous year, despite a bitterly cold winter that shortened the average number of harvesting days for Maine taps. Maine was again behind Vermont and New York for syrup production, holding fast to third place in the country for maple syrup output, producing about 553,000 gallons last year. That’s a little more than […]

Where the sun does shine (and generate power) in Maine

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Maine doesn’t have any grid-scale solar projects online, but it does punch above its weight for installed solar capacity, according to one database. I took a look at those state-level figures for a story on Maine Beer Co.’s recently installed solar arrays in Freeport and the town’s broader effort to get a batch of businesses to go in together on […]

Where the most Maine businesses are going it alone

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Per capita, Knox County is Maine’s capital for solo business owners. Census figures released Thursday show businesses that have no employees, by county. For every 100 people, Knox County has 12.7 businesses with no employees, most of which are sole proprietorships. Hancock and Lincoln counties are close behind. The census bureau excludes these businesses from its data for their relatively small economic impact […]

Report: Women make up 70 percent of Maine’s minimum wage workers

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Analysis by the National Women’s Law Center estimated women in Maine make up a disproportionate share of the state’s minimum wage workers, putting it among the six states with the highest such gap. The NWLC analysis issued Wednesday is based on unpublished annual average wage and salary earnings from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics and reflect […]