Democratic candidates for the State Legislature rallied today for increased economic opportunity for all Mainers – not just those at the very top. The rally follows the release of new economic numbers that show Maine is lagging behind the nation in job growth and income-levels. According to the August report, Maine ranks 43rd among all states in job recovery, needing to recover 9,400 jobs to return to pre-recession levels. While Maine has only recovered 63 percent of jobs lost during the recession, the United States has recovered 110 percent and New England has recovered 111 percent. The Maine Center for Economic Policy’s analysis also finds that 40,000 Mainers are looking for full-time work and can’t find it.
“Mainers are experiencing our sluggish economic growth firsthand,” said Sen. Anne Haskell of Portland, the Senate assistant majority leader. “Mainers expect leaders who will put job creation ahead of ideology at a time when so many families are struggling. Our governor has left plenty of good jobs on the table, but he’s also had help. Republican legislators caved to Gov. LePage more times than not. They are accomplices in holding our economy back when Mainers need more opportunity–and work.”
New data from the U.S. Census Bureau confirms that incomes are also declining and more Mainers are working just as hard, but for less. In 2013, the median household income in Maine was $46,974. That’s $2,300 below what it was in 2009 when adjusted for inflation.
More than 40 state Senate and House candidates gathered to recount stories from voters in their district and share their vision for change in Augusta.
“What I’m hearing at the doors is that people expect results,” said Democratic candidate for state Senate, Rebecca Cornell du Houx, of Augusta. “We need to do everything we can to ensure that we have a strong economy and economic opportunity for all.”
Democratic candidates have knocked on tens of thousands of doors this campaign season and have heard that Maine’s economy and job growth are the top issues impacting Maine voters.