Two years after my Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan took effect, Maine’s economy is stronger than it was before the pandemic and it is continuing to grow.
Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills and thank you for listening.
Nearly four years ago, Maine and the world faced a once-in-a-generation pandemic that threatened lives and livelihoods of people across the globe.
As the world economy came to a halt, it was clear to me that our state needed a strong public health response and a deliberate plan to stabilize our economy and position our state for future prosperity.
In May 2020, I convened a group of Maine’s leading economists, business leaders, and bipartisan public officials to help get our economy moving again. Drawing on the 10-Year Economic Development Strategy that I had unveiled just six months before, my Economic Recovery Committee developed specific policy recommendations to stabilize, sustain, and grow Maine’s economy.
Based on their recommendations, I released my Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan in May 2021. That plan had three goals: one, to achieve immediate economic recovery from the pandemic; two, achieve long-term economic growth for Maine; and three, revitalize our infrastructure.
That framework enabled Maine to hit the ground running following the passage of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan in March of 2021. While other states struggled to allocate their federal relief funds, Maine quickly put nearly a billion dollars in federal funds to work through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan.
We invested in small businesses and heritage industries. We encouraged new businesses and job creation by stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship. And we invested in the infrastructure that Maine people need to live, work, and raise a family – everything from roads and bridges to broadband, affordable housing, transportation, childcare, and education.
As a result of those investments, Maine’s economy is stronger today than it was before the pandemic.
Our gross domestic product—a key measure of economic growth—has grown at one of the fastest rates in the nation. In fact, Maine has seen more economic growth over the last four years than in the preceding fifteen years.
Our state has seen historic in-migration, the top rate in New England in fact, and as high as seventh highest rate in the nation. Today, Maine has a near record low unemployment rate and a near record-high number of jobs, an increase in manufacturing, and nearly 14,000 new businesses which registered last year with the Maine Secretary of State’s office.
So, Maine people of all ages and backgrounds are finding new opportunities in meaningful careers, and forward-thinking Maine companies are creating good-paying jobs, diversifying our heritage industries, and helping tackle our climate crisis at the same time.
While we have more work to do, of course, it is clear that our economy is strong and getting stronger every day, thanks to the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan.
My administration will continue to work to ensure that Maine is a place where all people can get a good education, have a rewarding, good-paying career, raise a happy and healthy family, and live comfortably in a community they love.
This is Governor Janet Mills, and thank you for listening.