Category Archives: Economy

How Maine fuel assistance funds have changed since 2013

While Bangor, Lewiston and Skowhegan stand to be hardest hit by losing federal heating assistance funds, the amounts given out to individual towns has already been on the decline in recent years. [Bangor would be hardest-hit by Trump cuts to heating aid] Figures from the Maine State Housing Authority show how those amounts have changed from 2013 to 2016, by individual […]

How Trumpy is your town?

President Donald Trump’s victory touched fault lines and upended expectations in American politics. There were some signs of that in Maine. For instance, many areas that voted for raising the minimum wage also chose Trump. So did towns that approved legalizing marijuana. (Trump and both measures won in 49 towns, and one or the other won in 90 towns. See all of those towns here.) Those dynamics […]

Maine’s economy pivots to quick growth in first quarter

Maine’s economy grew at the ninth-fastest rate in the country during the first quarter of 2016, turning around a steep decline in the same quarter one year earlier. The mostly nonexistent Maine winter likely helped speed growth in real gross domestic product, which trailed only New Hampshire’s for the first quarter, according to figures released Wednesday from the U.S. […]

How many in Maine have left the office behind? Have you?

A new group launching in Portland this week hopes to get better information about the group of people who, generally, don’t work out of the same building as their boss. Broadly, that means people who can work from pretty much anywhere with an internet connection. Ryan Wallace, director of the Muskie School’s Center for Business and Economic Research, says there’s not good information […]

On jobs, compare your community with the neighbors

The Maine Department of Labor has published a new look at annual unemployment data, letting users zero in on a specific area of the state and its neighboring communities. Follow the steps in the interactive map below to see annual unemployment rates for specific communities and the surrounding areas.  For reference, the statewide average unemployment rate for 2015 was […]

Report: Maine among least affordable states for renters

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 […]