Looking for a job in Maine? State survey gives clues on where to find work

In a survey of about 2,400 Maine businesses, the Maine Department of Labor confirmed long-range projections of growing industries, finding the bulk of job vacancies in the state were in health care and social work.

In a blog post Friday, the DOL’s Center for Workforce Research and Information rolled out the first look at results from its September 2014 job vacancy survey sent to about 3,400 employers.

That returned about 2,400 surveys, the department said, providing a snapshot of job vacancies by region, industry, required education level, wage and other details, like whether the job is part- or full-time.

Explore the CWRI data by geography below (pardon the formatting, this is embedded straight from the CWRI Tableau account):

In the first look at the data, the CWRI gave an overview of the data, confirming much of what was already known about Maine’s job market: that the bulk of jobs (70 percent) come from firms with fewer than 100 employees, that most of the jobs are in southern Maine and that jobs in the area of health care and social work is the most abundant.

Out of a total 21,250 job openings in Sept. 2014, the top five industries were:

  • Health care and social assistance: 5,730
  • Retail: 2,980
  • Office cleanup, waste management: 2,880
  • Accommodations and food service: 2,840
  • Construction: 2,260

The survey data released last week doesn’t delve into those numbers, but clearly certain industry totals will benefit by the timing of the survey — in September — like retail. The data as presented doesn’t give a sense of what is driving openings in certain industries, either, whether that’s growth in the industry or turnover, for example.

The survey did not detail how many jobs are full-time or part-time or what the average wages are across industries. Statewide, the survey found about 38 percent of jobs were for part-time work and about 12 percent were for seasonal or temporary work.

For qualifications, the survey found that about 39 percent of vacancies required at least a high school diploma, 10 percent required some post-secondary training and about 9 percent required a bachelor’s degree. About 30 percent of the jobs required from 1-5 years experience and 43 percent of the jobs required no previous experience.

The CWRI said it will issue more detailed analyses of the survey in the coming weeks, looking next at job vacancies by industry.

Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.