Monthly Economic News You Can Use
January 2006 Data

By: Craig Holland, Manager for Labor Market Information North/East District
Maine Department of Labor, Division of Labor Market Information Services, Bangor CareerCenter
45 Oak Street, Bangor, Me. 04401 Tel. 941-3076, FAX 941-3077, e-mail:

Ellsworth LMA


Area Definition

The Ellsworth LMA is made up of Bar Harbor, Beddington, Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Bucksport, Castine, Central Hancock unorganized, Cranberry Isles, Deer Isle, Eastbrook, East Hancock unorganized, Ellsworth Franklin, Frenchboro, Gouldsboro, Great Pond, Hancock, Lamoine, Mariaville, Mount Desert, Northwest Hancock unorganized, Orland, Osborn, Otis, Penobscot, Prospect, Sedgwick, Sorrento, Southwest Harbor, Steuben, Stonington, Sullivan, Surry, Swans Island, Tremont, Trenton, Verona, Waltham and Winter Harbor


Civilian Labor Force Trends










Civilian Labor Force




Residents Employed








Unemployment Rate





The local jobless rate increased from 6.4 percent in December to 8.3 percent in January. Unemployment rose by 450 to 2,310.  More claims were filed from accommodation and food services and recreational services. Fewer claims were filed from construction and administrative and support services. Resident employment decreased by 1,630 to 25,640.


In January 2005 470 fewer residents were employed and 130 fewer were unemployed and the unemployment rate was slightly lower at 8.0 percent.


The highest monthly unemployment rate recorded here since new labor market area configurations became effective with January 2000 data was 8.3 percent in February 2005, the lowest was 2.3 percent in August 2004.  The highest January unemployment rate recorded in this area was 7.7 percent in 2000, 2001 and 2005. The lowest January rate on record was 6.5 percent in 2003.


Characteristics of the Insured Unemployed


 A sample distribution of insured claimants in January 2006 revealed that 36 percent of the insured claimants were separated from accommodations and food service, 11 percent from

manufacturing and 10 percent were separated from construction. Seventy-nine percent said they were on a temporary layoff, 6 percent left their jobs voluntarily, and 15 percent were on a permanent layoff. Fifty-one percent of the claimants were female. Forty-six percent were their family’s primary wage earner, 30 percent lived alone, and 24 percent were secondary wage earners. Ninety-seven percent had at least a high school education and 27 percent had at least some college.  Eleven percent of the insured claimants were veterans. 


Firm Update


Closing/layoffs (past 12 months)


The State of Maine has announced the pending closure of the Bar Harbor District Court.  All court activities will be transferred to the Ellsworth District Court.


Expansions (past 12 months)


Ellscott Manufacturing with facilities in Ellsworth Falls and Gouldsboro has been acquired by Viscus Technologies of Kennebunk.


International Paper in Bucksport is awaiting corporate approval for a $16 million upgrade of their wood yard and wood handling equipment. 


International Paper has announced the sale of 1.1 million acres in Maine and New Hampshire for $250 million to GMO Renewable Resources, a Boston based investment firm.  The sale will not affect the operations of I.P.’s mills in Jay and Bucksport.


A 410-acre property that includes the Corea Heath and was previously part of the U.S. Navy base at Winter Harbor has been transferred to the University of Maine System and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The Corea Heath now becomes a part of the Maine Coastal Islands Wildlife Refuge. 


Stinson Canning Company, a division of Bumble Bee Seafood has increased production and employment levels at their Prospect Harbor plant.  The company has closed their Bath facility and a shifted production to Gouldsboro. 


The Marine Environmental Research Institute in Blue Hill has broken ground on a $312,000 expansion which will include a public aquarium and visitor’s center.


MDI Hospital has opened a new wing containing an OB unit.  The new wing is part of a $3.5 million capital improvement campaign.



Future Economic Development Projects


The Bar Harbor-based Downeast Rail Heritage Preservation Trust signed a 15-year lease on a 29-mile stretch of state-owned rail line between Brewer and Washington Junction with the intent to upgrade the rail bed to support passenger excursion rail service on its proposed Downeast Scenic Railroad. The trust plans to operate an excursion railroad for tourists between Ellsworth and Green Lake in Dedham.


Wal-Mart has announced plans to construct a Supercenter on Route 3 by the spring of 2006.


Lowe’s, the national home improvement chain is planning to construct a 170,000 square foot store on Route 3 in Ellsworth. 


Acadia Capital Corp., a development organization that seeks to improve the economy of Maine, is working with the University of Maine System to establish a marine and aquaculture Business Park on part of the recently transferred Corea Heath.


Morris Yachts of Trenton has been named the newest Pine Tree Development Zone and as a result will push ahead a planned $1 million expansion at the company's production plant which in turn will create as many as 20 new jobs.  Expansion plans call for adding between 20,000 and 25,000 square feet to the production plant.