BANGOR – When the pandemic first hit, people were forced to change the way they work. Maine economic forecasters are already seeing a shift in the labor market.
For more than half a year now, the COVID-19 pandemic has redefined the work place leaving remote working to become the new normal.
According to the deputy director of the Department of Labor, a large percentage of companies are expecting it to become a permanent shift.
“A lot of employees are reporting some success with it. So they expect a permanent increase with remote work and a decline in people having to live near and work in an office,” Glenn Mills, deputy director of the Maine Department of Labor.
Mills believes the widespread adoption of remote work by businesses will lead to some people moving to Maine permanently.
More workers are leaving big cities for areas with low cost living to find their escape home.
According to a real estate agent at Next Home Experience, the sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic.
“The state has realized a 13% increase in sales, which equates to over a billion dollars in volume and thankfully we are up 33%,” said Jon Coda, real estate agent at Next Home Experience.
Coda said the Next Home Experience has the largest increase locally in sales.
According to a survey by Live and Work in Maine, 55% of respondents agree remote work among full time employees is more common.
According to Mills, as the economy transitions Maine is stepping in the right direction.
“I think for Maine this is probably a good trend. As you know it is a nice place where people can live and probably be beneficial for us in terms of people living and working here,” said Mills.
Mills said public sector workers are expected to continue working remotely.