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Top 5 Industries in Maine: Which Parts of the Economy Are Strongest?

By    |   Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 09:05 AM

The top industries in Maine have shifted dramatically over the past several decades. Maine was once known for building ships and making paper, as well as agriculture and fishing. Today, the Pine Tree State is still home to one of the nation’s largest ship manufacturers. It still produces more paper, farms more wild strawberries, and catches more lobster than most other states combined.

Those industries have all shrunk in recent years, however, with booms in areas such as technology and tourism shifting jobs in Maine–as in other states–from making goods to providing services.

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Here’s a look at five of the top industries in Maine today.

1. Healthcare

Roughly 8 percent of Maine’s population works in the healthcare and social assistance industry, state figures show. Jobs in this industry include everything from doctors to ambulance workers. It’s been among the state’s fastest growing sectors in the past 10 years. That’s led to more healthcare workers per capita than the national average, according to a state labor report. Maine does still need workers in particular fields, however, with the state reporting the biggest demand in psychiatry.

2. Retail

More than 6 percent of Maine’s 1.3 million people work in retail trade, according to the latest figures available from the state. Some of the largest employers in this sector are car dealerships, gas stations, food and beverage stores, and clothing stores. The retail industry bounced back much faster than other industries in Maine after the recession, with the sector now primarily seeing annual up-and-down cycles typical of the sales world.

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3. Tourism

Thanks to its lighthouse-laden coastline, famous food and rich American history, tourism has been a steadily growing industry for Maine. That’s evident by the growing number of people employed in the state’s accommodation and food services sector. Roughly 85,500 jobs in Maine are tied to the tourism industry, the state tourism office reports, with some $2.2 billion in income generating by hotel stays, restaurant visits and shopping.

4. Education Services

More than 59,000 Maine residents work in the education services industry, per the latest state jobs report. Teachers may be public or private employees in K-12 schools, universities, business training schools or support programs. Education services was Maine’s fastest-growing industry over the past decade, state data shows. And an increasingly stable state budget points to opportunities for teachers in government-funded schools and training programs.

5. Construction

Construction in Maine has started to bounce back from the recession, with opportunities for new workers. More building permits were pulled in Maine in 2014 than in 2013, the National Association of Home Builders reports. And the state saw growth in building construction, civil engineering, and specialty contractor jobs over the past year, with roughly 4 percent of the state’s population working in some form of construction.

URGENT: Do You Approve of the Job Paul LePage Is Doing as Maine Governor?

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The top industries in Maine have shifted dramatically over the past several decades. Maine was once known for building ships and making paper, as well as agriculture and fishing. Today, the Pine Tree State is still home to one of the nation's largest ship manufacturers.
industries, maine, economy
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2015-05-09
Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 09:05 AM
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