Finding a Solution to Maine’s Labor Problem

David Vail

The economy of Maine faces a seemingly intractable labor problem, writes Adams-Catlin Professor of Economics Emeritus David Vail. An op-ed piece for the Portland Press Herald , coauthored by Vail and fellow economist John Dorrer, describes the “paradox” that faces Maine’s labor market as “a severe shortage of skilled workers,” combined with the “thousands of ‘prime age’ adults who are out of the workforce.”

Vail and Dorrer write that with the state’s unemployment rate remaining at historic lows, the dearth of skilled workers “means lost potential wages, profits, taxes and growth opportunities.”

The challenge facing Maine now is how to tap the potential of those thousands of displaced workers, and Vail and Dorrer have some recommendations. Read more.

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