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 ago, dating back to the first quarter of 2005.

With that first quarter of 2005 as the starting block, the industries that have been quickest out of the gate are service-sector industries like management, administrative and waste management services, finance and insurance, real estate and professional, scientific and technical services.

While that view shows momentum rests with service industries, manufacturing remains, since 2005, the third-most important private industry for the state (government is second).

Manufacturing’s output has declined by about 16 percent from 2005 to 2015, but it still made up about 4.6 percent of all of the state’s output for 2014, according to the prototype state-level industry figures released by the BEA Wednesday.

Manufacturing is struggling more severely in other ways. Jobs in manufacturing have declined at the fastest rate in the state since 1990.

And that comes amid anemic GDP growth for the state as a whole, compared with the national pace of quarterly growth for Maine, which did turn up at the end of 2014.

Amid the top 10 industries by output, manufacturing is a clear outlier, having fallen behind the health care and social assistance sector for good through the recession and approaching output levels for retail.

The data set aims to give more detail to top-level economic output estimates by state, showing which major industry sectors are responsible for increases or decreases from year-to-year.

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.