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IndustryNet Blog

Maine adds a record number of manufacturing jobs in 2018

Posted by IndustryNet on Monday, February 25, 2019

100000345_Grandi_fish_processing_conveyorAccording to new data compiled by MNI, publisher of the U.S. industrial data that powers IndustryNet, Maine added a record number of manufacturing jobs in the past year.

Gains were led by some of the state’s top industries, including transportation equipment and food processing, while a number of new and expanding advanced manufacturing facilities laid the groundwork for future growth in the state.

Maine manufacturing: the year in review

Maine is currently home to 1,891 manufacturers that employ 63,558 workers. The state added 2,490 jobs in 2018, representing a gain of 4%. In this past year alone, the state added more manufacturing jobs than at any year since MNI began reporting on its manufacturing climate in 2002.

Maine struggled to add manufacturing jobs after the recession as a strong dollar hit its export market; global competition took hold, while increasing business costs sent some manufacturers to cheaper locations.

But the past three years has seen the state reversing course, with jobs edging up slightly between 2015 and 2017, and then gaining momentum in 2018.

Employment in industrial machinery and equipment grew by 1.7% in 2018, and ranks as the state’s top manufacturing sector, employing 11,075. Second-ranked food processing grew by nearly 7% and currently employs 6,836.

Lumber/wood products, Maine’s third-largest industrial subsector, surged 8.3% in 2018, and currently accounts for 6,404.

Additional gains were seen in instruments/related processing (+21%); miscellaneous manufacturing (+11%); chemical processing (+7%); rubber/plastics (+6%); and fabricated metals (+3%).

Losses were few and far between, notable only in primary metals, down 2.7%.

Most major industrial cities in Maine posted gains over the year, including Westbrook (+16%); Bangor (+8.4); North Berwick (+8%); Biddeford (+7%); Lewiston (+3.4%); and Portland (+2%).

Maine’s manufacturing outlook

Maine is home to a diverse set of industrial enterprises, from L.L. Bean’s footwear empire to major defense contractors like Bath Iron Works and Pratt & Whitney.

With assistance from the Maine Technology Institute, the state has gone a long way in local manufacturers commercialize emerging technologies, while its abundant natural resources support a host of thriving seafood processing companies.waterjet_cutting_workers

In 2018, a number of new and expanding facilities were announced for the state, setting the stage for continued growth over the coming years.

Ready Seafood Co, announced plans last March to open a lobster processing facility in Saco and and hopes to apply novel methods developed at the University of Maine to help toughen the shells of crustaceans so that they can better weather the shipping process.

Major defense contractor Bath Iron Works recently landed a $3.9 billion shipbuilding contract from the Department of Defense for the construction of four destroyers.

In addition, ceramic filter maker Cerahelix established a new facility in Bangor, helped by the Bangor Innovation Center. SmartLam, a producer of cross-laminated timber also announced plans to set up shop in the state. 

Origins, which makes a variety of handcrafted products, including nutritional supplements and performance apparel, plans to expand in Maine, buying additional manufacturing space and announcing new jobs.

In addition, ND Paper unvieled plans to invest in its Rumford paper mill, and Mathews Brothers Company expanded their window production facility in Hermon.

Maine manufacturing: By the Numbers

Maine’s 1,891 manufacturers employ 63,558 workers.

Here’s a further breakdown of the numbers:

Top manufacturing industries in Maine


Largest Maine manufacturers by employees:

Bath Iron Works Corp. (Bath) - 5,800
Pratt & Whitney (North Berwick) - 1,850
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (Westbrook) - 1,800
Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc. (South Portland) - 850
Sappi North America (Skowhegan) - 800

About this data:

MNI’s extensive manufacturing data powers IndustryNet, an industrial marketplace that connects buyers with suppliers.

MNI’s team of more than 80 researchers scours hundreds of sources on-and-offline to zero in on every manufacturer in the U.S. Each manufacturer is contacted multiple times annually to ensure its information remains up-to-date and complete.

IndustryNet allows users to search and source more than ten thousand types of products, parts, supplies, and services for free. IndustryNet® lists every U.S. manufacturer plus thousands of wholesalers & distributors and industrial service providers.

To connect with industrial suppliers in Maine and across the U.S. start your free search on IndustryNet. Or, to access detailed profiles of Maine’s 1,900 industrial companies and their 5,600 executives, learn more about MNI’s IndustrySelect database subscription.








































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