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Updated: February 14, 2022

MaineHealth, LLBean rank near top of the best employers in US, Forbes says

entrance sign at maine med File photo Maine Health, whose flagship hospital Maine Medical Center is shown here, ranked No. 13 among the best large employers in the U.S., according to Forbes.

MaineHealth, which last year raised its minimum wage for more than 18,000 employees, has been ranked among the country’s 10 best large health care employers by Forbes magazine.

The Portland-based health care system was No. 6, and ranked No. 13 among large employers of all types in the U.S., according to Forbes, which based its comparison on an anonymous survey of 60,000 workers nationwide.

Four other employers headquartered in Maine also made the annual rankings, released Thursday, of the 500 large and 500 midsize organizations with the best survey marks.

L.L.Bean Inc. ranked No. 35 nationally in the midsize category (1,000 to 5,000 employees), while the University of Maine placed No. 160 and Bar Harbor-based Jackson Laboratory was No. 287. In addition to MaineHealth, the Maine state government made the list of large employers (over 5,000 workers) with a rank of No. 435.

Both the State of Maine and L.L.Bean have made the Forbes lists in previous years — the Freeport retailer even ranked No. 1 among midsize employers in 2016. MaineHealth, UMaine and JAX are newcomers to the rankings.

The Forbes survey, conducted by market research firm Statista, asked employees to rate on a 10-point scale how likely they’d be to recommend their employer. They were also asked to provide ratings on working conditions, development opportunities, compensation and other factors.

Nationwide, only a tiny fraction of employers count more than 1,000 employees. While the survey also included employers such as government agencies, the number of businesses with that headcount or greater is only about 8,200, according to census data. Employers with fewer than 500 employees make up 99.9% of all U.S. businesses, according to the Small Business Administration.

Prestigious peers

The high ranking for MaineHealth puts it in good company.

The top scorer among all large employers was Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and four other prestigious health care providers also placed high in the overall rankings: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in New York, No. 4; Mayo Clinic, in Minnesota, No. 7; University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, No. 9; and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, also in Texas, No. 10.

Just above MaineHealth in the overall ranking was Yale University, No. 12. Just below were Genentech Inc., No 14, and Microsoft Corp., No. 15. Yale, whose campus is in New Haven, Conn., was the only employer in New England ranking higher than Maine Health.

Last August, MaineHealth raised its minimum hourly wage from $14 to $17, representing roughly a 2% bump for more than 18,000 employees in non-executive, non-physician roles. Some raises were even greater, and MaineHealth estimated the total annual cost at $61 million.

The health care system said the sweeping compensation changes were a response to hardships posed by the pandemic as well as workforce shortages that have emerged in recent months.

In total, MaineHealth has over 23,000 employees, working at nine hospital networks, clinics, labs, home health agencies, behavioral health care facilities and a 1,700-member physician practice.

In April 2021, nurses at flagship Maine Medical Center voted to unionize, after an often-heated election and two failed attempts since 2000.

For the complete Forbes rankings and more information, click here.

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February 15, 2022
Don't forget General Dynamics - Ranked 204 in Large Company Category with over 7000 workers in the State of Maine. Thus making it (5) Companies. EDITOR'S NOTE: Another excellent example. However, it wasn't covered in our story since we only included Maine-based employers. While General Dynamics indeed has a large presence at BIW, the parent company is headquartered in Virginia.
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