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.

If you want to make money on state construction projects, install elevators

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As the governor on Monday announced about $470 million in capital projects, the Department of Labor on Tuesday issued its wage requirements for certain jobs. The prevailing wage figures from the DOL are assessed for each individual state contract worth more than $50,000. They vary by the location of the project, but the statewide averages reflected below give a sense of how […]

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


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 […]