Critical Insights

Providing critical insights on economic and labor market conditions during response and recovery to COVID-19

Critical Insights provide regular analyses tracking recent labor market and economic trends in Maine and northern New England. The report template will be revised periodically as stakeholder needs shift and significant trends emerge. Through this research, the UC also expects to shed light on the role of remote technologies and changes in skill and workforce requirements that assist in realigning the state’s economic development strategy and workforce plans.

September 2020 Insights 

Maine Employment Change during the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Shift-Share Analysis

 

Abstract:

The Maine economy experienced an 11-percent reduction in employment from February to July of 2020, with job losses of 18 percent from February to April and a 10-percent increase from April to July. Of the employment decline of 57,100 jobs from February to July, about 85 percent of the loss is related to the performance of the U.S. economy, and 16 percent is associated with factors that are unique to Maine.

Over the period of extreme job loss from February to April and the employment gains that happened between April and July, there’s wide heterogeneity in the performance of industry sectors in Maine. For example, the sectors of Health Care and Social Assistance, and Accommodation and Food Services performed worse than expected (based on employment change nationally and Maine’s industry mix) from February to April, followed by a period of better than expected performance in Maine from April to July. The Retail Trade sector is one of several industries in Maine that outperformed the sector nationally between February and April, and from April to July of 2020.

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