Wages

+10

Maine's annual average wage will exceed the average of EPSCoR* states by 2030

Favorable movement since the last available data

Benchmark: Maine’s annual average wage will exceed the average of EPSCoR* states by 2030. *the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, a program to assist places with historically low levels of funding for research and development.

Overview Fig. A

Overview

Wages reflect job quality, worker productivity, and the makeup of our economy; they are a primary driver of economic prosperity and quality of life.

In 2020, Maine’s average annual wage was $51,935 – below the U.S. average of $64,000 but above the average for EPSCoR* states ($51,779). From 2019 to 2020, average wages grew a remarkable 10%, reaching and exceeding the goal of Maine’s 10-Year Economic Strategy. Normally, this would be cause for celebration. However, it likely reflects the disproportionate, and temporary, loss of low-wage jobs due to COVID.

The adequacy of wages to cover workers’ basic needs varies by household and region. In 2020, the estimated living wage for a single Mainer was $31,034; it was $79,726 for a single person with two children; and for two working adults with two children, it was $43, 971 per adult. Regionally, wages exceed the state average in Cumberland, York, and Sagadahoc counties, and trail it elsewhere, with rural Franklin and Piscataquis counties having the lowest wages.

Fig. A

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Average Annual Wages

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services; Massachusetts Institute of Technology