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News Release Information

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (617) 565-4141

Occupational Employment and Wages in Portland-South Portland — May 2022

Workers in the Portland-South Portland, ME Metropolitan New England City and Town Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $28.81 in May 2022, 3 percent below the nationwide average of $29.76, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 11 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; computer and mathematical; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media. Six groups had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages, including food preparation and serving related, healthcare support, and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Portland area employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical, sales and related, and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance. Six groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving, production, and protective service. (See table A.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Portland metropolitan area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2022
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage ($)
United StatesPortlandUnited StatesPortlandPercent difference (1)

Total, all occupations




Business and financial operations


Computer and mathematical


Architecture and engineering


Life, physical, and social science


Community and social service




Educational instruction and library


Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media


Healthcare practitioners and technical


Healthcare support


Protective service


Food preparation and serving related


Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance


Personal care and service


Sales and related


Office and administrative support


Farming, fishing, and forestry


Construction and extraction*-6

Installation, maintenance, and repair




Transportation and material moving


(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Portland-South Portland, ME Metropolitan New England City and Town Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* The mean hourly wage or percent share of employment is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

One occupational group—personal care and service—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Portland had 4,690 jobs in personal care and service, accounting for 2.3 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 1.9-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $18.37, significantly above the national wage of $17.41.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the personal care and service group included childcare workers (1,700); hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists (500); and animal caretakers (430). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were morticians, undertakers, and funeral arrangers ($28.33); hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists ($24.68); and skincare specialists ($24.36). At the lower end of the wage scale were ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers ($13.83) and amusement and recreation attendants ($14.84). (Detailed data for the personal care and service occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to

Location quotients allow us to explore the occupational make-up of a metropolitan area by comparing the composition of jobs in an area relative to the national average. (See table 1.) For example, a location quotient of 2.0 indicates that an occupation accounts for twice the share of employment in the area than it does nationally. In the Portland area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the personal care and service group. For instance, childcare workers were employed at 2.7 times the national rate in Portland, and tour and travel guides, at 2.4 times the U.S. average. Recreation workers had a location quotient of 1.0 in Portland, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the Maine Department of Labor.

Changes to the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) Data

The May 2022 OEWS estimates use the model-based (MB3) estimation method implemented with the May 2021 estimates release. Additional updates were made to the MB3 wage processing methodology for May 2022. For more information, see the May 2022 Survey Methods and Reliability Statement.

The May 2022 estimates are the first OEWS estimates to be produced using the 2022 NAICS, which replaces the 2017 NAICS used for the May 2017-May 2021 estimates. See North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) at BLS for details.

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OEWS data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 580 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-digit, most 4-digit, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels, and national estimates by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OEWS data are available at

The OEWS survey is a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support, while the State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data. OEWS estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.1 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 179,000 to 187,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by Internet or other electronic means, mail, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2022 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2022, November 2021, May 2021, November 2020, May 2020, and November 2019. The unweighted sampled employment of 80 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57 percent of total national employment. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 65.4 percent based on establishments and 62.5 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Portland-South Portland, ME Metropolitan New England City and Town Area included 2,305 establishments with a response rate of 66 percent. For more information about OEWS concepts and methodology, go to

A value that is statistically different from another does not necessarily mean that the difference has economic or practical significance. Statistical significance is concerned with the ability to make confident statements about a universe based on a sample. It is entirely possible that a large difference between two values is not significantly different statistically, while a small difference is, since both the size and heterogeneity of the sample affect the relative error of the data being tested.

Metropolitan area definitions

The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The Portland-South Portland, ME Metropolitan New England City and Town Area includes Arundel town, Baldwin town, Biddeford city, Buxton town, Cape Elizabeth town, Casco town, Chebeaque Island, Cornish town, Cumberland town, Dayton town, Durham town, Falmouth town, Freeport town, Frye Island, Gorham town, Gray town, Hollis town, Kennebunk town, Kennebunkport town, Limerick town, Limington town, Long Island town, Lyman town, Naples town, New Gloucester town, North Yarmouth town, Old Orchard Beach town, Portland city, Pownal town, Raymond town, Saco city, Scarborough town, Sebago town, South Portland city, Standish town, Waterboro town, Westbrook city, Windham town, and Yarmouth town.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OEWS data are available at Detailed information about the OEWS program is available at

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table 1. Employment and wage data for personal care and service occupations, Portland metropolitan area, May 2022
Occupation (1)EmploymentMean wages ($)
Level (2)Location quotient (3)HourlyAnnual (4)

Personal care and service occupations


First-line supervisors of entertainment and recreation workers, except gambling services


First-line supervisors of personal service workers


Animal caretakers


Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers


Amusement and recreation attendants


Funeral attendants


Morticians, undertakers, and funeral arrangers


Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists


Manicurists and pedicurists


Skincare specialists


Tour and travel guides


Childcare workers


Exercise trainers and group fitness instructors


Recreation workers


Residential advisors


Personal care and service workers, all other


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Portland-South Portland, ME Metropolitan New England City and Town Area, see
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations may not sum to the totals due to rounding, and because the totals may include occupations that are not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.
(3) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.
(4) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a 'year-round, full-time' hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.
(5) Estimate not released.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, July 20, 2023