James Myall, policy analyst at the Maine Center for Economic Policy, agrees.
“Because so many people either temporarily were put on furloughs, or ended up being let go from their job, during the pandemic, I think that was a real moment of reassessment for a lot of folks,” Myall said.
Myall said the state of Maine’s workforce now depends on what industry you’re observing. He says in some sectors, employment is back to where it was pre-pandemic, but in others, like the hospitality industry, employers are having a hard time hiring and retaining employees. That’s because some workers have likely reassessed their career choices, either out of a need to get back to work more quickly or a desire to try something different.
“The jobs in those industries tend to be pretty low-paying. They also tend to be jobs where the schedule is irregular,” Myall said.