Getting an Education, Getting a Job

Quick Statistics on Employment in Maine
and the path from a university education to work

Prepared for the University of Maine at Augusta Office of Civic Engagement
by Assistant Professor of Social Science James Cook
February 2012

Jobs in Maine


The economic situation in Maine is not as dire as in the rest of the United States, but has seen better days...

Despite a lower unemployment rate than the United States, Maine has long had lower household income than the United Stes...

Of the five economic sectors employing the most Mainers, not one is among the five economic sectors paying the highest average wages...

Of the top ten employeers in Maine, the top two are governments and six more are service providers:

#1. Maine State Government: 24000-24500 employees
#2. Federal Government: 15500-16000 employees
#3. Hannaford: 7000-7500 employees
#4. Wal-Mart/Sam's Club: 7000-7500 employees
#5. Maine Medical Center: 6000-6500 employees
#6. Bath Iron Works: 5000-5500 employees
#7. LL Bean: 4000-4500 employees
#8. Eastern Maine Medical Center: 3000-3500 employees
#9. Unum Provident: 3000-3500 employees
#10. Maine General Medical Center: 2500-3000 employees
Source: Center for Workforce Research and Information

And in Maine, more people work for themselves than is typical in the United States...
Self-Employment in Maine and the U.S., 2010


Moving from university education to work:
Where am I now? Where will my education take me?


Education pays off...

But it pays off differently depending on your degree and major:

And Mainers are earning college degrees in ways that are subtly different from Americans on average:

When recent Maine college and university graduates explain their decision to stay to live in Maine after graduation, they cite quality-of-life issues:

But when recent Maine college and university graduates explain their decision to leave Maine after graduation, they cite employment pressures: