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Maine Group: State Falling Behind on Good-Paying Jobs
02/26/2013 03:39 PM ET  

The Maine People's Alliance today released a report by the Alliance for a Just Society that indicates that more than half the jobs currently available in Maine pay less than a so-called "living wage."

Members of the Maine People's Alliance, a progressive advocacy group, say Maine is falling behind when it comes to providing jobs that pay a so-called "living wage."

The group today joined with key legislative Democrats at an Augusta news conference to release Broken Bootstraps: Falling Behind on Full-Time Work, a report by the Alliance for a Just Society, which claims that more than half of the jobs available right now in Maine don't pay enough to meet basic needs.

Sen. John Patrick, a Democrat from Rumford, says Maine workers are among the best in the nation, but there aren't enough good jobs to go around.

"How frustrating to work two, three jobs and still have not enough money to put gas in your tank, heat your home or buy your child a new pair of sneakers," he said.

The group says the average "living wage" - enough to cover the cost of housing, food, transportation, health care and other necessities - for a single adult in Maine is $15.40. According to the report, 53 percent of the jobs currently available in Maine pay less than that.

The report comes as legislators begin work on a two-year budget proposal from Gov. Paul LePage. The Maine People's Alliance says the proposal includes tax shifts and program cuts that could add to the financial problems of low and middle-income Mainers.

This story was reported and written by Ed Morin, with help from A.J. Higgins.


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