Labor Force Participation


In 2022, 81.0% of Maine adults ages 25-54 were in the labor force, down from 82.8% in 2021.

No significant movement since the last available data

Benchmark: Maine’s labor force participation rate will match or exceed the national average.

Overview Fig. A Fig. B


As Maine’s population ages, the economic contribution of every individual becomes even more apparent. The labor force participation rate is the percentage of residents who are either working or looking for work. In 2021, 81% of Maine “prime working age” adults (ages 25-54) were in this category, down from 2021 and slightly below the national rate of 82.4%. People of all ages are invaluable to Maine’s workforce; this age range is presented here to compare Maine workers with their peers in other states. These estimates are subject to revision.

Maine adults at every age are about as likely to be in the labor force as people in other states. The chart below shows that Maine adults of all ages work at the same or higher rates as their peers nationwide. However, we have a higher share of residents age 65 or older, who work at lower rates. In 2021, 22% of Maine’s population was 65+ compared to just 17% of the U.S. population.

Potential measures to increase Maine’s labor force participation rate include higher wages, increased childcare access, reduced schedules for older workers, and outreach to new Mainers and people with disabilities, veterans, disengaged youth, and others.

Fig. A

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Labor Force Participation Rate

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fig. B

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Employment Growth in Maine by Selected Sectors, 2019-2022

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics