Island Institute report presents island, coastal employment data

Sep 27, 2018

Rockland — The Island Institute has published "Waypoints: Livelihoods on Maine’s Coast and Islands" featuring a first-time look at a range of coastal community employment indicators. The report presents visualized data and stories about how residents make a living and how Maine’s coastal and island communities compare to the rest of the state and the nation. It is a resource for local community and municipal leaders, state and federal representatives, agency staff, and research partners who are seeking to better understand the complex factors shaping the coastal Maine workforce.

Highlights of the report include the following:

• Population size, income levels, and industries distinguish the greater Portland area and southern Maine from the Midcoast and Downeast regions. For example: two-thirds of coastal residents live in the Portland area and southern coast, and smaller communities are more dependent on resource-extraction jobs.

• Industry sectors distinguish the character of our communities. In some communities, lobstering leads; in others, retail, arts, and tourism distinguish the culture.

• Almost 40% of island and coastal residents rely on Social Security income, compared to 30% nationally.

• Economic activity along the coast is distinguished by a self-employed, highly seasonal workforce. About 45 percent of coastal and island residents work seasonally, 10 percent more than the U.S. average. And 38 percent of year-round islanders are self-employed, more than three times the national average.

The publication, along with its supporting datasets, is available online at: islandinstitute/waypoints.



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