“Rural Maine is aging faster than the rest of the state,” said James Myall, a policy analyst for the [Maine Center for Economic Policy]. “There are more people retiring rather than looking for work.”
Convenience and corner stores often rely on teenagers for summer help and after-school jobs, but lately the more young people in the state have been flocking to urban centers such as Bangor and Portland than in the past, Myall said. In addition, big-box stores are pushing out small businesses and competing for their employees.
The effect of those long-term trends has been compounded by the fact Maine is in a particularly tight labor market now, with unemployment currently below 3 percent.