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Updated: April 10, 2024

Ranking claims Maine is among worst states for telecommuting

map Map / Courtesy of WalletHub Out of 50 states and the District of Columbia ranked for working from home, Maine was listed as No. 43 in a WalletHub barometer.

With high internet costs and other downsides, Maine is the 9th-worst state for working from home, according to a ranking by WalletHub.

Researchers at the personal finance website compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 12 key metrics, such as internet cost, cybersecurity and the proportion of residents who work from home.

The study also considered factors like how large and how crowded homes are in each state. WalletHub aimed to show how feasible working from home is in terms of cost, comfort and safety.

New Jersey, Utah and Delaware are Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on the list, respectively, while Alaska is last at No. 51.

Maine, ranked near the bottom at No. 43, had a far better showing for work environment (No. 30) than for living environment (No. 50). The latter category took into account factors including the average retail price for electricity and average square footage for homes.

Here's how Maine ranked across other subcategories:

  • 17th – Share of population working from home
  • 44th – Share of potential telecommuters
  • 24th – Households' internet access
  • 47th – Average home square footage
  • 19th – Cybersecurity
  • 47th – Average retail price of electricity
  • 47th – Internet cost

The report comes amid a rise in telecommuting prompted by the pandemic. Between October 2023 and January 2024, over 21% of workers able to work from home did so for five or more days a week, while over 67% did so at least one day, according to research cited by WalletHub.

'Narrow' vantage point

Nate Wildes headshot
File photo / Tim Greenway
Nate Wildes

Nate Wildes, executive director of Live + Work in Maine, observed that the report’s findings don’t reflect the whole picture.

“Maine’s quality of life, strong sense of community and value proposition to the bottom line are demonstrated very clearly by the many thousands of remote workers who were here even before COVID and only grew in numbers since,” said Wildes, who was honored on the Mainebiz 40 Under 40 list in 2022.

“Rankings like this, with highly curated data points, may be useful for some remote workers." he said. “But as usual, their vantage point is narrow and not inclusive. Maine’s strong remote worker community is clear evidence that this ranking does not capture the overall strength and value of a state like Maine.”

He also suggests taking all supposed rankings with a grain of salt.

“The only ranking Maine needs is the one based in reality," he said. "People from around the world want to live here, and Maine employers continue to see positive growth in their ability to attract and retain talent."

More information

Find the full WalletHub report and rankings here.

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