Health care industry gave a big boost to Maine earnings last year

Maine earnings rose about $1.56 billion in 2016, with total personal income growing at the 17th fastest rate in the country.

The figures show Maine catching up slightly with personal income growth in other states since the Great Recession started in late 2007.

About one dollar in six of the new Maine-based earnings went to people working in the health care or social assistance industry, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The earnings increase in health care and social assistance was twice the rise in the next-highest industry, management. Construction, state and local government, professional and technical services and accommodation and food services followed.

The income figures compare changes in earnings across industries. They aren’t adjusted for inflation.

Related BEA figures estimate total personal income of Maine residents, compared to other states. Those figures estimate income based on where people live. The earnings by industry are based on where people work.

For Maine residents, the BEA figures estimate total income rose $2.1 billion last year, to just more than $59 billion. That includes three types of income: net earnings from work, government aid, and dividends, interest and rent collected.

The estimate put Maine personal income up 3.7 percent, which was slightly higher than the national rate of 3.6 percent.

Over the long-term, however, Maine ranks much lower. The state is 49th for personal income growth over the decade from 2006 to 2016, ahead of Nevada and basically tied with Michigan, Delaware and Rhode Island.

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.