As we move toward Labor Day and reflect on the enormous contributions of our 680,000 Maine workers, we should ask ourselves a very simple question: Who ARE Maine workers? Because “Maine workers” aren’t just a notion. The Maine worker is your healthcare provider … your real estate agent … your grocer … and the person at the corner store who makes you that scrumptious Italian sandwich or your favorite type of pizza. Also—very likely—the Maine worker is YOU.
A Thriving Small Business Environment
Thanks to all the folks mentioned above—and all the other Maine workers—we in Maine are blessed with an economy that is not just surviving but THRIVING. Drive down any major street in Augusta, Waterville, Portland, Bangor, or elsewhere, and you’ll see signs proclaiming “NOW HIRING!” Behind every one of those signs are countless Maine workers who have poured their sweat, strength, and talent into creating a booming economy where it’s virtually impossible NOT to find a good job, and where the state unemployment rate now sits at a near-historic-low of 2.4 percent.
A Breathtaking Rebirth Fueled by Maine Workers
If you’re “of a certain age”—or have parents who are—you know it was not always like this. Back in the 1970s, economists often referred to Maine and other northern states as being part of a “Rust Belt” marred by factory closings and urban decay. And the “Rust Belt” characterization wasn’t completely unwarranted; Maine’s unemployment rate in 1975 was 10.4 percent.
But then Maine workers did what they always do. They rolled up their sleeves. They got busy. They became entrepreneurs and small business owners and consultants and employees. And through their astonishing vision, talent, and hard work, they built the vibrant, abundant economy that is today such a rich blessing and source of pride to everyone in the Pine Tree State: An economy in which 99.2 of all private enterprises are small businesses … 56.8 percent of Maine workers are employed by those small businesses … more than $1.3 billion worth of Maine goods are exported … and women own 40.2 percent of small businesses and account for 48.6 percent of employees.
Our Labor Day Salute to Maine Workers
Ever since President Grover Cleveland signed our national Labor Day holiday into law in 1894, everyone from presidents to business leaders to labor union heads have paid tribute to American workers and saluted the heroic efforts they make—day-in, day-out, year-in, year-out—to make our homeland safe, prosperous, and rich with the blessings of economic and personal liberty. Here at Rizzo Mattson REALTORS® we proudly echo each and every accolade, each and every tribute paid to the American workforce and to our wonderful Maine workers. We are indebted to you and stand with you, and we say gratefully to you, “Thank you … and Happy Labor Day!”