Working in Maine

Working in Maine

Maine is the easternmost state in the United States and its capital, Augusta, shares the same distinction among state capitals. Canada is located at the northern border of Maine with Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast.

Maine borders 230 miles of the Atlantic Ocean to its southeast. It is the largest, but least densely populated state in New England or anywhere east of the Mississippi River. Portland is the most populated city, but the bulk of Maine's residents live in and around the capital of Augusta.

Shipbuilding, pulp and paper, and maritime ventures are its greatest historical industries. Canada used the ice-free Port of Maine until the development of Nova Scotia took over in the mid-1900s. However, the passageway at Portland thrives and handles more traffic than Boston due to the ability of large tankers to navigate its water ways

Shipbuilding continues to prosper due to the presence of Bath Iron Works, one of the largest suppliers of ships to the US Navy. Now a subsidiary of the world's fifth largest defense contractor, General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works continues to produce commercial and military vessels including today's most superior surface warship, the Arleigh Burke.

Commercial fishing still commands a presence. Lobstering and ground-fishing are still the most common sources of seafood. Because lobster is linked to Maine's history, economy, and tourism, although fishing, hunting and trapping occupations employ just 0.1% of all Mainers, fisherpersons have the highest wage per week at $1,973.

Maine has a unique commercial identity outside of shipbuilding and seafood. While there are barely any corporate headquarters anchored in Maine, a combination of small, discernible industries support the state's economic structure. Leather goods, pulp and paper mill research and development, blueberry exporting, and hunting tourism are a few of the viable niches Maine has carved out to sustain the economy.

Blueberries are a key agricultural commodity. Maine is the largest exporter and commercial seller of the fruit. State government has an extensive listing of laws regarding this little blue staple of Maine commerce alone.

Paper mills, lumber and wood products were once a large part of Maine's economic landscape. While the production of pulp and paper goods are still a good portion of the state's industrial output, it is a smaller portion of the total commercial revenue due to the fact that all manufacturing is at all time lows.

The unemployment rate in May 2012 was 7.4% compared with the United States average at 8.2%.The average weekly wage is approximately $752 per week. Statewide, the top three employers are Walmart/Sam's Club retailer, Hannaford Co. Bros. supermarkets, and L.L. Bean mail order catalog.

A few corporations that are headquartered in Maine are Fairchild Semiconductor, IDEXX Laboratories, L.L. Bean and Cole Haan. Fairchild is located in South Portland and has the distinction of being operational longer than any other semiconductor firm in the world.

Currently, 89% of all jobs are service-related. The population of Maine continues to decline while 40% are expected to be 65-years old or older in 2018. Therefore, trend analyses predict continued rapid growth in professional/technical services and health care.