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Funding the Highway Trust Fund is not a Binary Choice

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 […]

Involuntary part-time work up during the recovery

There’s been a lot of discussion, criticism, and defense to Gov. Paul LePage’s economic record thus far.  One of the larger criticisms is that while the state’s unemployment rate continues to dip, as noted by some, Maine has the 5th highest rate of involuntary part-time work. (click images to enlarge) Unsurprisingly, that rate has increased since the […]

How do Maine’s Metro Areas do in attracting College Grads?

WHILE the evidence of a skills gap in Maine remains questionable at best, the state does face longer-term structural problems regarding its aging population.  While the aging population is not the primary problem with the current state of Maine’s economy and labor market, these long-term problems cannot be ignored either.  In order to replace the […]

Is there a Skills Gap in Maine?

AS noted previously, much has been made in Maine regarding twin structural problems in the state’s labor market and overall economy.  The first problem is that Maine’s shifting demographics are causing a labor shortage (or, some will argue, will within the next 6 years).  However, the concern over shifting demographics is a bit misplaced; at […]

The ACA and Part-time Work

JUST prior to the recently published jobs report, the national GOP posted a press release on its website arguing, in part, that the ACA is pushing the economy into a part-time economy.  It’s an oft stated argument by the GOP and its members.  For instance, Maine Senator Susan Collins co-sponsored legislation that would change the definition of […]

How did the Skills Gap descend so quickly?

“The structure of a modern economy does not change that quickly. The demographic composition of the labor force, its educational breakdown and even the industrial mix did not differ much between 2007 and 2009.” –Edward Lazear WHILE doing some research on a post re: the skills gap in Maine, I came across something rather interesting.  […]

Maine Jobs Report, Personal Income Data, and Coincident Index: Cautious Optimism

LAST week, the jobs data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that Maine’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.7%, but that the economy 4,900 jobs.  While these numbers indicate steady growth, there are reasons the data should call for cautious optimism. First, the 4,900 jobs were the single biggest month-over-month increase during the […]