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Maine Real Estate

Maine's Economic & Business Climate  

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Maine's total gross state product for 2019 was $67.7 billion, representing a 1.4% growth rate over the previous year. Per capita personal income in 2019 was $50,634, ranking 30st nationally.  The increase was 9.9% over 2018 results.

GDP CHART 2017The largest 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 largest segment was government (and related enterprises) representing 14%, and experienced a decline of .06%.

The largest contributor to real DGP growth in 2019 was educational services, health care and social assistance, which accounted 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 structural 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 opportunities for residents and visitors. There is a significant emphasis on business growth throughout 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.

 Employment & Production


Employment by Industries: breakdown of the primary industries for residents of Maine, though some of these residents may live in Maine and work somewhere else.


Domestic Production & Consumption: consists of products and services shipped from Maine to other states, or from other states to Maine (2020).

Employment Changes by Sectors

Maine’s total employment continued to grow in 2019, adding 5,100 jobs for a total of 635,500 jobs. The sector with the largest employment increase in was health care and social assistance, followed by manufacturing, government, and financial activities. Health care & social assistance (17%) and government (16%) are the sectors with the most jobs in Maine.

2020  Results

The jobs picture will be quite different in 2020. From January to August, overall employment is 46,000 (7%) below 2019 levels. Employment in leisure and hospitality has been hit particularly hard, down 18,000 (27%) through August 2020. 



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