August 1, 2013

Report: Maine workers among least productive in U.S.

But rather than blaming the workers themselves, the report says it is employers who are not taking full advantage of workers’ abilities.

By J. Craig Anderson canderson@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Another way to boost productivity over time would be for the state to invest more in education, research and development, he said.

Portland Regional Chamber CEO Christopher Hall said Maine must spend more money on enticing quality employers to come to the state, especially its rural areas.

He said the productivity report merely underscores what members of the state's business community have been saying for years.

"We've known that this gap has existed for a long time," Hall said. "What hasn't happened is a solution -- an answer."

Hall said Maine lacks public-private incentive and outreach programs that are competitive with other states in attracting quality employers and industries.

"Maybe we haven't been aggressive enough in attacking," he said.

Neale said the state's productivity problem is complex and has no quick fix.

The report is the first in a series of quarterly research papers to be written by graduate students and faculty members in UMaine's School of Economics, said the school's director, Mario Teisl.

Teisl said the next report likely will focus on poverty in the state, followed by a report on education.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

canderson@pressherald.com

Twitter: @jcraiganderson

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