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Maine Industrial Employment Edges Up In 2016

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

EVANSTON, Ill, March 15th, 2017/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- Maine’s manufacturing employment levels were little changed in 2016, according to industrial data collected by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI), a publisher of industrial databases and directories for all fifty states. MNI reports manufacturing employment in Maine inched up by 202 jobs in 2016, amounting to a third of a percent gain.

Maine’s 1,984 manufacturers employ 62,803 in the state, reports MNI.

“Faced with global competition, high business costs and a lack of skilled workers, Maine has struggled to rebound from the recession, though this year’s survey hints at the possibility of a turnaround,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “The state is home to a number of thriving food processing facilities, and the newly-passed National Defense Authorization Act will stand to benefit many of those Maine-based industrial companies that contract with the U.S. military such as Bath Iron Works and Pratt & Whitney.”

Maine’s slight gain was led by the transportation equipment industry, which added 2.2% to its workforce in 2016, and remains the state’s top sector by employment, employing 10,630. Employment in food processing, the state’s second-largest industry by number of jobs, also increased, up 2.1% to 6,707.

Additional gains were recorded in the rubber/plastics sector, up 5%; furniture/fixtures, up 3.1%; and medical instruments/related products, up 2%.

Several companies announced new operations in Maine, including Poland Spring, which plans to establish a bottling plant in the west of the state, and Acadian Wild Blueberry Co., which opened a blueberry processing facility in New Bruswick. In addition, Clariant International expanded its Lewiston medical plastics facility, and LL Bean expanded hiring at its Brunswick and Lewiston factories to meet demand for its increasingly popular boots.

These gains were offset, however by job losses in the chemical industry, which declined 7% following the closure of Evergreen Manufacturing’s perfumery in Madawaska, and paper products, which fell 6% after Madison Paper Industries shuttered its paper mill. In addition, employment in fabricated metals declined 4.5%, and lumber/wood fell 1%.

City data collected by MNI shows Bath remains the state’s top city by industrial employment, with 5,888 jobs, with no change reported in 2016. Employment in second-ranked Portland inched down a half percent to 4,793 jobs, while manufacturing employment increased 1.4% in third-ranked Auburn, which currently stands at 3,483. Westbrook is home to 3,412 industrial workers, down 1.4%, and fifth-ranked South Portland is home to 2,162, down 1%.

Established in 1912, MNI is the nation’s oldest and largest compiler of industrial information, offering tailored solutions to help customers connect with 430,000 manufacturers and suppliers. MNI’s industrial marketplace IndustryNet: is a one-stop resource that connects buyers with suppliers of 10,000 + products and services, and allows users to obtain competitive quotes, create and view company profiles, post company news releases, photos, videos, job openings, and more. MNI’s subscription service EZ Select: provides access to MNI’s live interactive database of manufacturers. For more information, contact MNI at 847-864-7000 or visit
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