AUGUSTA, Maine - With the nation's oldest population, the state faces some of the most daunting economic challenges that are shared throughout New England.
New England Council leader James Brett warns that the region's employers will become increasingly dependent on older workers - those age 55 and above - to meet the demand for skilled workers as the six states' work force grows older.
"The ability to retain and recapture those older workers in the labor force will be critical to the long-term economic prosperity of the region. This is particularly significant in Maine," Brett wrote in a report last November.
Policy analysts in Maine examining demographic factors agree and state officials say efforts are underway to smooth the transition.
This summer, Maine's State Planning Office published a paper assessing the consequences of population trends.
Conclusion: Adjustments are needed across the social horizon.
Laura Fortman, the Maine labor commissioner, views the changing work force picture in a positive light. "It's not a bad news kind of thing. There's opportunity there."