State of Maine Economy
The economy of the state of Maine has been vibrant since its separation under the Missouri Compromise in 1820. The acceptance of Maine as a free state saw the economy of the state grow tremendously with a number of industries that deal in mining and manufacture emerging. Other important industries that also developed within these early years of independence granite, lime quarries as well as ice harvesting. Apart from the industries, residents on Maine also experienced a boom in lumbering, shipbuilding and traditional fishing which was of economic benefit to the people living in the area.
Throughout the 19th century, the economy of Maine continued to prosper even though industries such as fishing as well as farming were affected by economic fluctuations because of the civil war and also the industrial revolution. After the civil war, textile as well as leather industries in the state also enjoyed an upward surge which was also recorded in the agricultural sector. Hydroelectric power which began to be produced on the major rivers of Maine which are Saco, Androscoggin, Penobscot and Kennebec also contributed to the development of the economy. As the 20th century approached, the economic development of Maine was much slower as the pulp as well paper industry was expanded to compensate the loss of the textile mills on the south of the state. Furthermore, small farms were gradually replaced by poultry, dairy and potato farms which were grown in the large scale.
Currently, Maine still enjoys a good economy that allows the state to develop and the residents live a relatively comfortable life. Ranking thirty first in the United States by 2011, Maine had a gross state product of over fifty billion dollars which largely is good when compared to other states. This has increased from the previous year when the state was ranked number thirty four.
Core drivers of the Maine economy
Even as the economy of the state of Maine continues to improve there are a number of sectors that contribute most to its growth. These sectors are a good place for investors to look into in case they want to Maine and make a profit while empowering the residents as well. Some of these sectors that drive the economy of Maine include:
It is the largest sector in the economy of the state and is involved in the manufacture of paper as well as wood products. These products are valuable and are used in many places within the state to do various activities. The forest cover in Maine is very important in the industry as it ensures that raw materials are enough for effective production. Also, the availability of power as well as water is quite important in this sector to ensure that it is beneficial to the state and the residents as well. At one point, Maine had the largest manufacturing plant that produced at least twenty million toothpicks daily.
This is also a sector that contributes immensely to the growth of the economy in Maine because of the large number of people that visit the state to be able to view the various sites and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Maine has managed to boost its tourism numbers by building resorts in the coastal areas while promising an outdoor life that is tranquil, which appeals to many types of tourists who are visiting for leisure or on work related assignments. Other visitors that are increasingly visiting Maine are retirees who are enjoy the tourism options offered in the state. Sport hunting is a popular attraction for tourists who visit Maine and it includes the hunting of animals such as bear, deer and moose. Sport fishing is also available in many of the resorts in the area for the benefit of the visitors. Other types of activities that can be done by tourists include hiking, snowmobiling, camping, skiing and boating among others.
Although the number of large companies in Maine is minimal there are some that have their headquarters located in the state. These companies have also participated in consolidations as well as mergers which have made their number decline much more. However, there are a number of mid-size as well as small businesses that are owned by private individuals that are doing well in the state. These businesses provide opportunities for residents as well as visitors to invest their money or work with them to build a better economy in Maine. Furthermore, there is a lot of emphasis put on the importance of business growth within the state.
Although, there are some sectors that drive the economy of Maine that are considered to be crucial to its growth, there are others that are also important and also contribute to the growth of the economy. Some of these sectors that provide a boost to the larger sectors include:
Agriculture - Maine has a variety of agricultural outputs that include apples, eggs, dairy products, wild blueberries, maple sugar and syrup among others. The state exports blueberries at a large scale which is one of its leading exported products. Potato crops from Aroostook County are also well known which results in revenues for the state when they are sold. Apart from agriculture, commercial fishing is also a contributor to the economy and includes ground fishing as well as lobstering.
Port services - The Maine port is important in regard to transportation within the state and beyond because it is able to handle many large tankers. It is a busy port that provides revenue to the government which is used to strengthen the economy.
As the economy of Maine continues to improve so does the lives of the residents in the area because they are able to get jobs and live a good life. The unemployment rate in Maine which is around seven to eight percent is considered to be high compared to other states. However, the unemployment rate goes up and down almost every year which is an indication that a steady and robust economy will lead to more job creation and investor confidence as well.