Using nationally recognized economic modeling, the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) estimates that between 7,000 and 10,000 jobs would be eliminated if the legislature were to pass the governor’s proposal. These job losses would be felt most acutely in employment related to long-term care in nursing homes, home health care, and care for people with mental illness and developmental disabilities. Large job losses would also occur in k-12 and higher education.
“If there is one thing all Maine residents can agree on,” says MECEP Executive Director Christopher St. John, “it’s that Maine needs jobs. Clearly, these numbers show our current tactic of cutting our way out of this recession is not the answer.”
To put this loss in perspective, based on data from the Maine Department of Labor, these job losses would be the equivalent to the following:
• Maine’s largest employer, Hannaford Brothers, laying off all it’s workers and moving out of state;
• The number of currently unemployed residents in Franklin, Washington, Waldo, Sagadahoc, and Piscataquis counties combined;
• Twice the number of Maine jobs at L.L. Bean; or,
• Losing every construction, manufacturing, transportation, and utilities job in the Bangor area.
“We are not just talking about a few hundred jobs here,” says Christopher St. John, “We’re talking about causing the layoffs of more people than are currently employed by the city of Waterville. That’s never okay. If Hannaford were to lay off all of its workers would we just sit on our hands and watch it happen? Of course not. We would do everything we could to preserve those jobs. Our response to the job losses in this budget should be no different.”
The analysis is available on-line at MECEP’s website.