Category Archives: Economy

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

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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 […]

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 […]

Just how accurate are Maine’s monthly unemployment estimates?

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So, everyone, let’s all talk about the elephant in the room: The unemployment estimates out Friday. Missed them? Well, if you were following along through the morning, you may have been confused about just when was the last time that preliminary estimates of unemployment rose in Maine. That may have been my fault. (It was a year ago, but […]

More of the same: Slow Maine GDP growth fuels political haymaking

Maine’s metropolitan areas lagged growth rates for other areas of the country in the last year, continuing a longer term trend in Maine’s economy. In one-year and 12-year comparisons, growth in the value of goods and services coming from Maine’s major metropolitan areas is below the median for metropolitan areas around the country. While there’s little difference in comparisons […]

How Maine ranks as ‘business friendly’ under Gov. Paul LePage, in 5 charts

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When you think of “business friendliness,” what comes to mind? Perhaps how it was a key promise of Gov. Paul LePage’s 2010 campaign. Perhaps Forbes magazine’s dogged placement of Maine dead-last in its annual “business climate” rankings, based on a proprietary formula. Or perhaps it’s the sign that lets you know that not only is Maine the way life should be, […]

Bloomberg highlights Maine’s sluggish Internet speeds, municipal solutions

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Bloomberg News reported something with which you, loading the BDN website, are probably well aware: Internet speeds in Maine are not the fastest. The report from Bloomberg follows writer Susan Crawford’s favorable review of Rockport’s municipally owned broadband network, unveiled earlier this month. The report highlights some of the challenges well-known to Maine Internet users but also the […]

Today on the auction block: carbon emission allowances

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The 25th carbon allowance auction through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) starting today is bringing out supporters and opponents of the Northeast cap-and-trade program. Supporters like the Natural Resources Council of Maine argue that the nearly $50 million paid by Maine producers for carbon allowances have supported investments that will provide long-term environmental and economic returns (they debuted two case studies […]

The Queen City is a relatively cheap date

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So, you’re stuck with the classic problem of where to spend your $100 and your choices are Bangor, Lewiston, Portland or any of the untamed non-metropolitan areas in between. Naturally, you’d consult the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. And here’s what the bureau would say: Go to Lewiston. Bangor’s not far behind. And the Portland area will […]

Maine’s real estate, health care industries grow the most; administrative services grows the fastest

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Maine’s real estate and health care are making up an increasing share of the state’s economy, according to preliminary statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. It’s no surprise — given demographic trends — that Maine’s economic growth has lagged the nation’s. The latest batch of data, however, gives more detail on the shifting internal makeup of the state’s […]