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Maine Factory Employment Contracted At A Slower Rate In 2015

Contact: Jennifer Ratcliff
Manufacturers' News, Inc.
(847) 864-9440 ext. 241
jratcliff [at]

EVANSTON, Ill, March 15th, 2016/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Maine manufacturing employment declined over the past year, though at a slower rate than in previous years, reports the 2016 Maine Manufacturers Register®, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. According to MNI’s database of manufacturers, Maine lost 680 manufacturing jobs from December 2014 to December 2015, a one percent decline.

Maine is now home to 2,034 manufacturers employing 61,881 workers. According to MNI’s database of manufacturers, losses over the past year were marginal compared to previous years, with data showing the state’s industrial employment declining about 2% on average each year from December 2007 to December 2014, dropping 15% overall.

“High business costs, global competition, and a dearth of skilled workers continue to put a dent in Maine’s manufacturing sector,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, Maine still holds much appeal for manufacturers, including a flourishing food processing industry and ideal location for the shipment of goods, and job losses appear to have slowed.”

According to MNI’s database, losses were led by the state’s paper products industry, which suffered a 15% decline following layoffs at Verso Paper, as well as the closures of Old Town Pulp Mill and Lincoln Paper and Tissue. Additional losses were reported in electronics, down 10%; stone/clay/glass, down 5.2%; primary metals, down 4.7%, food processing, down 1% and lumber/wood, also down 1%.

Losses were offset by gains in the state’s transportation equipment sector, which rose 5% over the year, thanks to an uptick in hiring at the state’s largest industrial employer -- Bath Iron Works. Transportation equipment ranks as the state’s largest sector by number of manufacturing jobs, employing 10,404. Adding to the transportation equipment industry’s gains were growth in the industrial machinery sector as well as the chemical processing industry, with manufacturing employment climbing 4% in each.

Additional bright spots for the state included the opening of Modula’s new factory in Lewiston, and the establishment of food processor Central Maine Meats in Gardiner.

City data collected by MNI shows Bath remains the state’s top industrial city by number of jobs, accounting for 5,880 workers, up 3.5% in 2015. Second-ranked Portland accounts for 4,614 workers, down 3.1%. Industrial employment in Auburn climbed 5.5% to 3,434 industrial workers, and rose 3.1% in fourth-ranked Westbrook to 3,361 jobs. South Portland ranks fifth with 2,182 jobs, with no significant change reported over the year.

Detailed profiles of all Maine manufacturers can be found in the 2016 Maine Manufacturers Register® available in print or online. Established in 1912, Manufacturers' News, Inc. is the nation’s oldest and largest publisher of industrial information. MNI offers a variety of tailored solutions to help customers connect with 430,000 manufacturers and suppliers, from print directories to online subscriptions. MNI’s industrial database subscription service EZ Select: allows users to tap into a live interactive database of manufacturers, while its industrial search engine IndustryNet connects buyers and suppliers and allows users to view profiles and obtain competitive quotes. MNI’s traditional print directories are published for each state and include in-depth profiles of every manufacturer in the U.S. For more information, contact Manufacturers' News, Inc. 847-864-7000.
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