At this time of year, we gather with loved ones to celebrate Christmas, count our blessings, remember the past year and look forward to next year.
This holiday season, I ask that we reflect on where we are. Our state has reached an all-time high in private-sector job growth, and our unemployment rate is hitting record lows.
Wages are rising at the fastest rate in decades, and I am told we have one of the highest percentages of our population working ever.
For the past seven years, my goal has been to make our state prosperous, and I hope you are seeing the benefits of this economic growth in your community and in your wallet. Growth means opportunity, and that opportunity will encourage our children to stay here—living, working and prospering in Maine.
Despite this progress, we must always remember that some of our fellow citizens are struggling. I know how difficult it is to fall on hard times. You are not alone, and we are constantly aware of what needs improving.
Mainers are generous people, and there are many organizations that can provide the financial, emotional and mental health support that you or your loved ones may need to regain hope and a sense of well-being as you face life’s challenges.
As I enter the last year of my administration, I will continue to fight for the future of Maine. Together, we will keep working to make Maine a better place for our families and the generations to follow.
Each year, as Ann and I gather with our children, relatives and friends to celebrate the holidays, we pause to remember the many families who are apart. The First Lady and I ask all Mainers to keep our military service members in your thoughts.
Ann and I thank you for your dedication and courage as you defend our nation and the freedoms we hold dear. To your families, we thank you for the everyday sacrifices you make while your loved ones serve our nation.
This time of year is truly magical with sparkling snow, colorful lights, festive foods and outdoor fun. We hope you take time to create lifelong memories with those you love.
Ann and I wish you and your families, near and far, a safe and Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all.