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

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 economic output (rather than all of that “where-did-we-rank?” business).

The data set spans from 2005 to 2013 and shows that health care, real estate (including rent and leasing) and professional services have continued to grow the quickest among the state’s major industries. As with prototype consumer spending data the BEA released earlier this month, the methodology may change in later releases.

But here’s a look at what the early data shows.

The view below looks at change in output for the state’s 10 most productive sectors, measured in current dollars.

On the lower end, the state’s construction and finance and insurance industries saw a resurgence after lagging through the recession that started in December 2007. Construction nearly returned back to 2005 levels in the fourth quarter of 2013 and the finance and insurance industry surpassed its 2005 output in early 2012.

Maine’s information sector had the steadiest declines for that period, dropping from a peak output of about $1.35 billion in late 2005 to around $1.07 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Other sectors not in the top 10 were the state’s fastest-growing. The bar chart below indicates percent change in output from 2005 to 2013. That growth rate is contrasted with how much the sector contributes to the state’s overall output, which is listed and reflected in shading of each bar.

Administrative and support services grew the fastest from 2005 to 2013, with output in that area rising more than 60 percent for the period, to $6.56 billion. Educational services and arts, entertainment and recreation were the next fastest-growing.

Real estate and health care were next. Both for those sectors are significantly larger that the three fastest-growing, making their percentage increases more meaningful, in dollars.

Here’s a look at changes in those industries measured in dollars, not percentages.

Growth in those areas are reflected in the makeup of the state’s economy. Using the chart below, compare the relative production of each industry in 2005 with production for 2013 (click on an industry title in the color-coded list at the bottom to highlight that respective slice and compare percentages for each time period).

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.