Employment Numbers Show Maine’s Economy Improving Under Governor LePage

June 18, 2014

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage released a statement today about Maine’s improving economy.

The New York Times, has affirmed the efforts we have made to recover jobs lost during the great recession,” said Governor LePage. “The unemployment rate for April was 5.7 percent, which was the lowest since September 2008, and thousands more Mainers are working in the private sector now than when I took office."

The New York Times highlights Maine as one of three states that have recovered a significant number of jobs lost during the recession. “Employment rates have rebounded in some states with strong growth, like Utah, Nebraska and Montana. But only three states — Maine, Texas and Utah — have retraced more than half their losses,” The New York Times reported.

Under the LePage administration, 15,000 private-sector jobs have been created; there are 8,000 job openings on the Maine Job Bank; and Maine’s employment-to-population ratio remains higher than the national average.

The New York Times states that the number of people employed is a more accurate indicator of how the economy is doing. The share of Maine’s population that is employed remains at 61.8 percent—well above the U.S. average of 58.9 percent. April was the 79th consecutive month the employment-to-population ratio was above the national average.

The story also notes that “most economists do not expect employment rates to rebound completely,” pointing to a national trend that Maine is now experiencing: an aging population leaving the workforce with fewer younger people to fill those jobs.

“Maine's aging population presents a challenge to economic and job growth, as does Maine's energy rates that Democrats refuse to address,” said Governor LePage. “We have to bring more companies with good-paying jobs to our state, which will help attract and retain more young people and families. That's why we proposed Open for Business zones, which would have enticed large companies that offer high-paying career jobs to come to Maine. But the Democrats pursued an aggressive anti-business agenda this legislative session. They even prevented teens from getting jobs in movie theatres and bowling alleys.

"We must continue our efforts to transform Maine from a high-tax state with a large welfare population to a low-tax, business-friendly state that encourages companies to create good-paying career jobs for Maine families,” the Governor said.

See The New York Times article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/17/upshot/measuring-recovery-count-the-employed-not-the-unemployed.html?_r=2