I n the last decade, Maine has struggled with major demographic challenges. In 2014, almost one in five Mainers was already older than age 65—the third highest share in any state in the country. And in recent decades, the state has not succeeding in attracting large numbers of new residents—or keeping the young people it has now in the state after high school graduation. From 2011 to 2014, Maine experienced more deaths than births, one of only two states in the country to do so. With working-age residents in short supply, many Maine employers—from electronics manufacturers to meat processors—have struggled to find the workers they need in recent years to expand and keep growing in the state. Maine is additionally challenged by its 3.7 percent unemployment rate, one of the lowest in the nation—meaning few state residents are available to fill jobs.
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