Economist says Maine to recover in 2016

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Charles Colgan, a former state economist and professor of public policy and management at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service, has revised the Maine economic forecast he delivered in January. He now believes the state will regain its lost jobs by 2016.

2013 is off to a promising start — but don't get used to it. 

In a preview of his Maine forecast for the New England Economic Partnership conference in Boston on Thursday, Charlie Colgan said that he revised his estimate for the end of recession in Maine to late 2016.

One year ago, he'd forecast late 2015.

"Because we're doing another one of these promising start and disappointing finish scenarios, it's pushed back the recovery date on employment," said Colgan, a professor at the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School for Public Service and former state economist.

He blamed the recent federal sequestration and a boggy national economy for that slowdown.

Industries that he sees growing in Maine: Professional and business services (lawyers, accountants, engineers, consultants), leisure and hospitality and, to a lesser degree, health care.

Manufacturing, Colgan said, has "lost the jobs that we're going to lose — I don't see us losing a lot more."

"I expect towards the end of the forecast period, 2016, 2017, 2018, lumber and wood products to pick up some as construction picks up a little more robustly in the Northeast," he said. "But the paper industry does not look like it's got much of a recovery in front of it."

Maine lost 29,000 jobs in the recent recession and has gained 6,000 back, according to the Department of Labor.

Across New England, Massachusetts has already recovered all the jobs it lost, according to Ross Gittell, NEEP's forecast manager and the Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire.

Vermont has gained back 90 percent, New Hampshire 50 percent, Connecticut 45 percent, Rhode Island 25 percent and Maine 20 percent.

Gittell said it would be mid-2014 before the region would see "significant pick up" in growth.

New England economy to outpace Maine

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A group of economists says New England is recovering from the worst recession in decades, with the strongest gains in Massachusetts and Vermont, while Rhode Island and Maine lag.

The New England Economic Partnership said Wednesday that external factors such as Europe's recession and federal spending cuts made in Washington are crimping the region's economy.

Through 2016, employment in New England is forecast to grow an average of 1.4 percent a year and economic growth will average 3.3 percent a year.

With slow growth, the region is not expected to return to its pre-recession employment level until 2015. The unemployment rate will remain lower than the U.S. average, but is not expected to be below 6 percent until 2015.

The housing market is posting increases in prices, sales, construction and employment.

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Steve  Dosh's picture

Economist says Maine economy to recover in 2016

Kate ? † y v m Weds 08:50
Good to hear former US Senator and former SECSTATE and Presidential contender Ed Muskie ( D ) R I P & Bates '52 mentioned again in ME news
" Maine's Muskie School for Public Service and former state economist. "
VeRrRrmont has gained back 90 percent, New Hampshire 50 percent, Connecticut 45 percent, Rhode Island 25 percent and Maine 20 percent after the Great Mancession ?
Q : Why is ME so S L O 0 o • ø W , Hon. Gov ?
A: Young people are moving out
V a c a t i o n l a n d , after all
It'll pick up after Memorial Day and then stop again on U S Labor Day
/s , Dr. Dosh , Bates '77
@ Bridgton Twin Drive-In Theatre <- not necessarily an endorsement

GARY SAVARD's picture

Charlie Colgan has made a

Charlie Colgan has made a living throwing darts at the wall in order to make predictions about Maine's economy that are generally as reliable as Joe Cupo's 7 day forecasts.

 's picture

Maine last. Haven't we wasted 2 1/2 years

with Wrong Way LePage in charge. Maine lags because of Federal spending cuts? The Republicans say that spending cuts create jobs. Now they wouldn't lie would they.

GARY SAVARD's picture

Jonathan, why can't we blame

Jonathan, why can't we blame the democrats for our miseries? They ruled the roost for a lot more years than the republicans, and we were in the crapper then. If Obama can still blame Bush for our problems into his second term, why not let Lepage pass the buck?

Steve  Dosh's picture

Gary ? 09:00 am - ish hst

Gary ? 09:00 am - ish hst •
i can answer that ? The $$USbuck stops right here <- ( to mis - quote Harry Truman - his daughter taught me how to type . †rue story )
A : Because your Republicans , including Hon. Sens Snowe and Collins ( not to mention your Hon. Gov. Paul ) have missed the boat on far too many occasions going back to the Bush ƒamily dynasty , e.g.,
Geography lesson :
Q: Do you know where the ship building facilities on Lake Charles are ?
A: LA , that's Louisiana ?
Need more proof ?
Re-read the article
/s, a former US federal ombudsman

 's picture

First, Democrats governed Maine for only a brief period

Republicans governed Maine from 1856 until 1955 about 100 years. Democrats were governor for only 10 of those years and Republicans controlled the legislature unbroken. Since then Republicans have been govenors for 20 years, Independents 12 years, and Democrats for 25 years. That's not a lot more years then the Republicans. If LePage wins in 2014, it will be very close to dead even. So its not true that Democrats have "ruled the Roost" for a lot more years.
I don't know what you mean by "in the crapper". But if you mean poor with few jobs or industry. Well that's true. But not because of Democrats. Maine was a poor agricultural state from the beginning in 1820 until the early 20th century. With the paper mills, Maine became a poor agricultural state with a few jobs. Until 1972 the paper companies and CMP ran the state and kept out new industry (competition for labor). The Democrats came in after 1972 have helped increase the median income and other indicators of economic development to the point Maine almost caught up with the rest of the country now we are falling back again.
Why can't LePage pass the buck. Because he came to office after the recession during the recovery and as the report in today's paper states Colgan has pushed back Maine's employment recovery by another year (for the second time) and that corresponds with LePage's term of office. And LePage came to office with a guarantee tha he would create jobs by creating a "business friendly" environment. For those first 2 years he had complete control of the Government. His business friendly environment has done nothing for Maine.
LePage blaming Brennan for his situation is as absurd as Bush blaming Clinton for a balanced budget and a surplus.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Jon , t y v m . 09:05 Hump

Jon , t y v m . 09:05 Hump Day
His • point • being that the very last balanced US Federal budjet was under , ( you guessed it ) , First Lady ßillery , in ? 1 9 9 5 ;) h t h ? Steve


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