Maine’s unemployment rate has been under 4% for 36 straight months, as pointed out in this Portland Press Herald article.
However, MeBIC Board member John Dorrer, a labor economist and former director of the Maine Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information, points out in the article that the tight labor market is likely to trim growth and tax collections and hurt the state’s economy.
Businesses are offering bonuses, raising wages, creating training programs, and trying to re-engage retired workers and attract newcomers to the state, but those efforts are not enough to make up for our labor shorfall.
Immigrants are part of the solution, too. We need to make sure that the federal administration stops constricting immigration, through its policies that reduce refugee arrivals, or would slash immediate family immigration, and that raise obstacles to legal immigration by every type of worker, from manual laborers to professionals.