Maine’s $2.9 billion outdoor recreation industry still going strong, national report says


Maine’s $2.9 billion outdoor recreation industry ranks among the top five in the nation in terms of contribution to the state’s economy and supported more than 40,000 jobs in 2019.

These are some of the findings of a new report from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, detailing the sector’s role in each state’s economy. The findings were similar to those of the agency’s first report released last year.

Similar to the previous report, Maine ranks near the top in terms of industry’s importance to the state’s economy. The latest numbers show that outdoor recreation makes up 4.2% of Maine’s economy.

That’s double the national average of 2.1% and puts Maine behind Hawaii (5.8%), Vermont (5.2%), Montana (4.7%) and Florida (4. 4%), and tied with Wyoming (also 4.2%).

In Maine, the sector supported 40,069 jobs in 2019, or 4.7% of the state’s total, and provided more than $1.4 billion in compensation. Boating and fishing also remained the state’s top conventional contributors to the outdoor recreation economy, accounting for $284.4 million in 2019.

From 2018 to 2019, outdoor recreation employment and earnings in Maine also grew faster than the U.S. average.

The report comes amid an increase in outdoor recreation, boating and camping fishing during the pandemic, keeping startups and existing businesses busy.

“This report provides further evidence that Maine’s outdoor recreation economy is one of the strongest in the nation,” said Jenny Kordick, executive director of Maine Outdoor Brands, a nonprofit alliance whose members include Flowfold, Sea Bags and LLBean Inc., in a press release. Release.

“What sets Maine apart is our wealth of outdoor assets, which support outdoor activities in all seasons and can be a growing source of sustainable job growth.”

Kordick said this has been particularly evident during the pandemic, with more people spending more time outdoors, adding: “This report underscores why we should invest more in recreation infrastructure, entrepreneurs and a workforce. solid work that is the backbone of our growing outdoor recreation economy.”

The 2019 outdoor recreation data was compiled from existing state and national economic statistics and includes the economic impact of conventional outdoor activities including camping, hiking, boating pleasure boating and hunting.

It also covers other activities such as gardening and outdoor festivals, as well as construction, travel and tourism and local trips that support conventional recreational activities.

Find the full report here.


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