As the unofficial start to summer in Maine begins, hundreds of thousands of people will visit Vacationland.
Hello. This is Governor Paul LePage.
Traffic into Maine during the Memorial Day weekend was up from last year -- an indicator that more people are visiting our State.
Maine's campgrounds are reporting positive numbers, as well. Officials say reservations for the summer season are up by 10 percent or more at campgrounds throughout the state.
As tourists flock to Maine it means money is being spent at restaurants, stores and local attractions.
The Maine economy is growing stronger.
It's clear, our unemployment rate is declining and more jobs are being created. From January 2011 to March of this year, Maine's private sector grew by 4,100 jobs, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The state's unemployment rate has also declined since January 2011, from nearly 8 percent to 7.2 percent.
While tourism is a large factor to the success of the Maine economy, we are not bound by it. Building a sustainable future requires Mainers to be innovative and willing to build new industries. We must also be globally competitive.
Recently, the national jobs report showed only 69,000 jobs created last month. Economists agree that we must produce about 200,000 jobs per month to be prosperous.
Economic growth must be fueled by collaborative work between government and the private sector.
However, stimulus packages that promise jobs are not the answer to our economic woes. These plans have proven to fail which only pumps false hope into our economy.
Temporary jobs are not the solution. We need long-term employment with better paying wages.
Government officials need to start listening to the people who are creating our jobs. They have answers.
Starting this week, I'm hosting another round of job workshops that are geared toward specific industries. I want to know what is working for business and what isn't. I am asking CEO's to come to the table to tell me what policies are enabling them to expand and hire more Mainers and which ones stifle growth.
On Wednesday, June 13, the first of three workshops will be held in Brunswick. The focus is on the tourism and marine resources industries. Future sessions will address industries in forestry, farming, IT and manufacturing.
I have said before, government does not create jobs. But what we can do in Augusta is change the environment by which jobs are created in the private sector. We have been working diligently on this, and have made some progress, but I firmly believe there is more to do.
If you are a business owner and would like to attend one of the upcoming jobs workshops please visit my website Maine.gov slash Governor (www.Maine.gov/Governor) for details.
We will continue to strengthen Maine's economy and get Maine working again by sharing ideas with each other. I welcome your thoughts as we move forward together.
Thank you for listening. Ann and I hope you have a great weekend.