Labor Force


Maine’s labor force shrank 1.5% to 675,000 in 2022.

Unfavorable movement since the last available data

Benchmark: Maine’s labor force will increase to 700,000 by 2030.

Overview Fig. A


In 2020, Maine’s workforce shrank by about 27,000. It regained over 14,000 workers in 2021, but appears to have slumped again last year. In 2022, there were approximately 675,000 in Maine’s labor force, below pre-pandemic levels.

A skilled workforce is essential for a healthy economy. As baby boomers retire, the ranks of working-age Mainers are shrinking. Furthermore, many young people are delaying entering the labor force to pursue education and training opportunities. This has contributed to a slow decline in Maine’s labor force, and was made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2022, the overall number of nonfarm payroll jobs surpassed pre-pandemic levels thanks to gains in professional and business services, construction, and manufacturing. Jobs in leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance, and government are still recovering.

To grow Maine’s workforce, and counter these trends, Maine must attract more working-age people from other states and countries, retain more of the young people born here, and help more Mainers participate in the workforce.




Fig. A

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Maine's Labor Force

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics