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Maine Real Estate

Maine's Ecomonic & Business Climate  

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Maine's total gross state product for 2017 was $61.4 billion, representing a 1.4% growth rate over the previous year. Per capital personal income in 2017 was $45,072, ranking 31st nationally.  The increase was 2.2% over 2016 results.

GDP CHART 2017The lagest industry in Maine was the category of finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing, representing almost 21% of the total and accounted for 1.2% of real growth. The second lagest segment was government (and related enterprises) representing 14%, and experienced a decline of .06%.

The largest contributor to real DGP growth in 2017 was educational services, health care and social assistance, which acconted for .30% of the total growth in real GDP.

While declining, Maine is still a leading producer of paper and wood products, which are the most valuable of all manufactures in the state.

Food products and transportation equipment are also important, but production of leather goods (especially shoes) has declined. The mineral wealth of the state is considerable. Many varieties of granite, including some superior ornamental types, have been used for construction throughout the nation. Sand and gravel, zinc, and peat are found in addition to stone. However, much of Maine's abundant natural and industrial resources remain undeveloped.

Agriculture has always struggled with adverse soil and climatic conditions. Since the opening of richer farmlands in the West, Maine has tended to concentrate on dairying, poultry raising and egg production, and market gardening for the region. The growing of potatoes, particularly in Aroostook County, was stimulated by the completion of the Aroostook RR in 1894. Blueberries, hay, and apples are other chief crops, and aquaculture is growing in importance.

Maine LobsterMaine's agricultural outputs are seafood (notably lobsters), poultry and eggs, dairy products, cattle, blueberries, apples, and maple sugar. Aroostook County is known for its potato crops.

Western Maine aquifers and springs are a major source of bottled water. Its industrial outputs are paper, lumber, and wood products, electronic equipment, leather products, food processing, textiles, and tourism. Naval shipbuilding remains important as well, with Bath Iron Works in Bath and Portsmouth Naval Yard in Kittery.

Maine ports play a key role in national transportation. Around 1880, Portland's rail link and ice-free port made it eastern Canada's principal winter port, until the aggressive development of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the mid-1900s. In 2001, Maine's largest city surpassed Boston as New England's busiest port (by tonnage), due to its ability to handle large tankers.

Maine has a small trapping industry which, with 3,157 resident trappers, is nevertheless larger than that of most Eastern states. The principal pelt taken by value is beaver. Historically, however, beaver trapping was much more significant in the North Woods and Canadian Maritimes than the small industry of today and was the cause of much early wealth and many trading settlements.

Commitment to Small Business

Portland Maine Business DistrictMaine has very few large companies that maintain headquarters in the state, and fewer than before due to consolidations and mergers, particularly in the pulp and paper industry.

Although this could be viewed as a structrual weakness, Portland and the surrounding areas rely on a strong business culture of small to mid-size, privately owned companies. The downtown district in Portland, and the Old Port historical area, provide many business opportunites for residents and visitors. There is a significant emphasis on business growth throught the greater Portland area.

Some of the very few large companies that do maintain headquarters in Maine include Fairchild Semiconductor (South Portland), IDEXX Laboratories (a large veterinary biotech company in Westbrook) and the famous outdoor supply retailer L.L. Bean (Freeport). Maine is also the home of The Jackson Laboratory, a non-profit institution and the world's largest mammalian genetic research facility.

 Personal Income & Value Added Statistics

Per Capita Income

Maine’s per capita personal income continues to grow but trailed the 2016 U.S. average by $5,300 and the New England average by $18,200. Maine’s growth from 2011 to 2016 was equal to the EPSCoR average at 14%, but trailed the U.S. average of 17%. 


Value Added

Maine’s output per worker is steadily improving, growing from $89,100 to $91,700 (2.9%) from 2014 to 2015. Yet among the 50 states, Maine ranked next to last in output per worker in 2015, trailing the U.S. average of $121,400 by 24%.

Employment Growth by Sector: 2016

Maine added 6,700 nonfarm payroll jobs from 2015 to 2016, growing from 610,600 to 617,300. Maine has added 24,300 nonfarm payroll jobs since the low of 593,000 in 2010 and is nearly back on par with the2007 high of 617,700. Maine has continued to add jobs while our workforce continues to decline.

Tight Job Market

Recent low unemployment rates are evidence of a tight labor market that is creating challenges for employers looking to add workers. Growing our gross domestic product and per capita income will be difficult.



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