Should no buyers be found for the Old Town and Lincoln mills be found, 374 jobs would be lost at the two facilities – 195 here, another 179 in Lincoln. And hundreds of others would be thrown out of work as well. According to an economic impact analysis released this week by Eastern Maine Development Corporation.

The economic impact analysis was done to determine the direct and indirect effects of the job losses associated with the imminent mill closures. Estimated were the losses in terms of jobs, annual earnings, and annual sales that are likely to occur within this four-county region.

“With the loss of such a significant number of manufacturing jobs, the region can expect additional indirect job losses as firms located within the region that supply to the mills are forced to lay off workers and/or close as a result of decreased demand for their products and services,”said the analysis. :In turn, these direct and indirect job losses will decrease the spending power of households in the region and result in further economic losses in retail and other consumer goods sectors, which will have additional regional ripple effects.

According to the report, which did not break down the data by individual mill or community, 563 indirect jobs would be lost, for a total of 937 jobs. Total annual earnings losses were estimated at abut $48 million, and total losses in sales were put at about $277 million annually. Some of the additional job losses would be part of the mills’ supply chains; others would be impacted due to decreases in consumer spending by the region’s households.

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting is the sector expected to be most affected in terms of indirect job losses, with an estimated 76 jobs to be shed as a result of the closures. Health care would lose 60 jobs, while manufacturing would lose an additional 58 jobs beyond those shed at the mills and retail would be expected to lose 55 jobs. Other job losses are predicted as administrative and support and waste management and remediation services 54; accommodation and food services 39; other services (except public administration) 32; professional, scientific, and technical services 29; construction 26; government 25; transportation and warehousing 25; wholesale trade 20; real estate and rental and leasing 13; finance and insurance 13; arts, entertainment, and recreation 10; educational services 10; information 6; utilities 5; management of companies and enterprises 3; mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction 2.

While those numbers seem huge, they would be spread over many communities. Additionally those jobs are a small fraction of the total workforce in the region – just seven-tenths of one percent, according to the analysis.


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