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Lies, Damned Lies, and Maine’s Unemployment Rate

Maine U-3 and U-6

THERE’S been much debate about the state’s economy and labor market.  While both continue to improve following the depths of the recession, some have suggested that the labor market is struggling as evidenced by the state’s slow growth rates relative to the rest of the nation.  However, this argument is flawed because the state-to-state or […]

On Ending Economic Bidding Wars Among the States

bidding-wars

AS reported by the LA Times, a four state bidding war for Tesla’s battery plant was finally settled earlier this month, with Nevada ‘winning’ the bid.  In exchange for the electric car maker’s roughly 6,500 jobs, Nevada’s bid included: Tesla will get more than $1.25 billion in tax breaks and other incentives.  That includes up […]

Degree Inflation and Amy Volk makes too much sense

Flickr_MindTheGap_800px

FROM a recent BDN piece (my emphasis): UMaine President Sue Hunter, who was appointed in June, spoke recently with the Bangor Daily News about her goals, the challenges the university faces and the role the university should play in the state’s economic future. . . .  A part of it is when you look at educational attainment […]

What’s actually alarming about the Portland study

Portland employment

From the PPH (for the BDN piece): Portland is losing ground at an “alarming” rate, according to a new study examining nearly 30 indicators of where the city’s economy is headed. Portland’s Economic Scorecard 2014-2015, to be released Tuesday by the Portland Community Chamber, shows that the city has experienced lackluster improvement – or no […]

Corporate Taxes and Job Growth: Repatriate like it’s 2004

corporate-tax

IN a recent piece for the PPH, Steve Robinson suggests that lowering the corporate tax would be a boon for the American worker with higher wages and greater job opportunities via increased domestic investments: In contrast, Canada’s combined federal and provincial rate, at 26.3 percent, allows Canada-based businesses to be far more competitive in an increasingly […]

Maine wages level off from 2013 – 2014

wages

THE Center for Workforce Research and Information released average weekly wage data for the first quarter of this year for Maine.  Overall, wages leveled off from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014, with real wages for all industries declining $1.40, and real wages for service providing industries and goods producing industries declining $1.59 and $2.56, respectively. […]

Another Problem with the Skills Gap Argument

Bev-Curve

Jared Bernstein has a pretty interesting post up regarding the Beveridge Curve, which in turn has some impact on the skills gap arguments taking place in Maine.  Skills gap proponents in Maine like to point to national trends to bolster their argument that the state is suffering from the national trend. On the national level, skills […]

Funding the Highway Trust Fund is not a Binary Choice

gas tax

SIN taxes (a form of a Pigou Tax) are used to discourage the consumption of a good–think pollution.  In theory, the taxes are imposed to pay for the negative externalities caused by consumption of that good (damage to third-party property owners in the case of pollution).  The revenues are costs are in equilibrium because the […]