Has Gov. Paul LePage strengthened the Maine economy since taking office in 2011? Despite his repeated statements that he would greatly improve Maine’s economy, sadly he has accomplished little. The reality is that Maine’s economy is stagnant and is not recovering from the recession. Here are a few key examples.

Most telling is looking at the dollar value of Maine’s real gross domestic product (real gross domestic product is the value of goods and services sold by Maine businesses, adjusted for inflation). From 2010 through 2014, Maine’s annual real gross domestic product has been essentially static, even declining slightly to $50.98 billion.

Business sectors where the dollar value of goods and services sold declined include construction, finance, insurance, real estate sales and rentals, and manufacturing of non-durable goods (such as paper and paper products, office supplies, footwear, food and even beer).

Only three other state economies in the country performed worse in 2014.

The number of businesses in Maine has not increased. Since 2010 the number of non-farm businesses has declined slightly to 40,257, which is ironic given the governor’s sign greeting tourists to Maine in Kittery.

Job growth, even among minimum wage jobs, also remains lethargic. Since the low point in 2010, Maine along with West Virginia had the slowest growth in job creation in the country, each with less than 3 percent. And what few new jobs have been created, most do not pay a livable wage.

In Kennebec County, a full-time job needs to pay $23.06 an hour to support a family of four. Maine median household income has been flat since 2010.

In the area of improving Maine’s economy, Gov. LePage has let Mainers down. He has been mostly bluster and political rhetoric, with few positive results during the last four-and-a-half years of his watch.

George Seel

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