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.

Census: Maine homes continue switch from heating oil

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For better or for worse, homeowners continued to shift away from heating their homes with No. 2 oil as more install natural gas and propane systems. Data released Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey show the share of Maine homes using heating oil dropped by a statistically significant amount in 2014, as falling crude oil prices lowered heating oil […]

A bird’s eye view of Maine’s changing cities since 1984

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Imagine you’ve been aboard a spacecraft, orbiting over Bangor at least once a year since 1984. That’s basically what Google’s satellite time lapse search is like, using images collected by Google Earth. You can have the basic orbiting experience without all the space miles. Just press play (click below the year to change the speed of the time lapse). […]

Car-related sales help drive Maine’s recovery

Pat and Steve Kotyk (from left) of Eddintgon watch as mechanic Jim Giguere makes a minor repiar to their car Friday at Main Street Garage in Bangor. Accoridng to Mike Giguere, Jim's father and owner of the garage, the economic downturn has meant "less sales, more repairs" at the business, which sells and services used cars. (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KATE COLLINS)

It appears we love our vehicles, or that an improving economy has made Mainers feel a little better about investing in their rides. For all but seven months from 2010 to 2015, automobile-related sales have grown after taking a dive with every other type of spending during the recession. That category of spending has consistently growth faster through Maine’s […]

Doing continues to supplant making in Maine


There are plenty of individual makers in Maine, but a new data set from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows continued gains for service industries as growth in industries like manufacturing and construction lag behind. The new data set (its methods still being refined) shows inflation-adjusted GDP (in 2009 dollars) by industry for the states as recently as two quarters […]

Maine’s drinking again like it’s 1970


Maine’s been drinking more lately. Per capita alcohol consumption (ages 21 and up) has been on the rise since the late 1990s, returning near levels of the early 1970s, according to annual reports from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The reports are based on state data, when available, and industry shipment data in other cases […]

Maine-based companies got dinged, too, in Monday’s market correction

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Maine has few publicly traded companies, but the stock prices of those headquartered here and those with major ties to the state did get dinged in the market-wide correction Monday. By the market’s close, the S&P 500 index was down 3.94 percent and the Dow Jones industrial average was down 3.57 percent, after early-morning panic that saw some […]

Verso’s Jay shutdown adds to massive drop in U.S. paper capacity


For perhaps the second year in a row, hundreds of Verso paper mill employees in Maine may face losing their jobs around the holidays (late 2015 or early 2016, the company says). It absolutely sucks, whatever the reason. And the almost unrelenting bad news for paper mill workers in the state hurts more against the memory of what was, for sure. After […]

Pike’s peak: Toll data signals better Maine tourism season

BDN Photo by Brian Swartz.

If you’ve felt the Maine Turnpike is more crowded than last year, it’s not just you. Traffic through the first two weekends of busiest August was up about 1.6 percent and passenger traffic (cars, motorcycles and buses with fewer than 13 passengers) was up more than 5 percent from January-July. The latest figures are one sign that Maine’s tourism season […]