Maine’s economy is currently stagnating, in part due to the decline in foundational jobs. Foundational jobs once brought economic prosperity to Maine in industries like fishing, logging, farming, and trucking. But foundational jobs have decreased over time and Maine has not had a plan to replace them.
The loss of foundational jobs has led to lower tax income, more young people leaving the state in favor of job opportunities elsewhere, and less money coming into the state overall. Unfortunately, without foundational jobs, Maine’s economy will not see sustained growth, nor can Maine’s citizens enjoy greater economic prosperity.
While there are many types of foundational jobs and job sectors, let’s take a deep dive into one sector specifically: trucking. Trucking is critical to moving goods from the site of production to the site of sale, and everywhere in between. Foundational jobs in trucking not only provide value to the state economy, but also support other job sectors simultaneously.
In fact, the trucking industry requires a wide range of jobs and working professionals to stay operational. These foundational jobs include:
As you can see, for a single trucking company to carry out its services, a large number of workers are involved, earning wages, paying taxes and spending money in our local communities.
By continuing to ship goods across the country and state, trucking companies support other foundational jobs and solidify the strength of the broader market. In this way, when we invest in foundational jobs and businesses, we invest in many more workers than we initially think.
At the end of the day, trucking is just one example of foundational jobs. Maine has an opportunity to grow foundational jobs across many industry sectors and create positive conditions to bring foundational sectors to Maine.
New foundational jobs will help breathe new life into the economy by bringing new money in from out-of-state. That money can be used to pay for goods and services from local small businesses, as well as generate the tax revenue to pay for government services, infrastructure projects, and more. More work opportunities will help retain Maine’s young people who are moving away to take jobs elsewhere.
This is a massive challenge, but it’s one we can solve if we work together on a long-term, comprehensive strategic plan. Please sign up for our email newsletter to stay informed and help us work towards a brighter economic future for Maine.