She said the vast majority of postings seek registered nurses in a number of settings, including the hospital and doctor’s offices — positions that require at least a four-year degree and pay anywhere from $22 to $34 per hour. However, Lamey said the company also is seeking medical assistants and certified nursing assistants, positions that require a two-year degree and a 12-week course, respectively. Lamey said medical assistants make $12 to $18 per hour at MaineGeneral, while CNAs make $10 to $15.

Lamey said the company’s large number of postings isn’t the result of one particular factor, but rather “a little bit of this, a little bit of that.” She said the new hospital’s imminent opening was one factor, along with older employees feeling financially confident enough to retire and increased demand on Maine’s health care system.

“Our population is aging now as the economy picks up a bit,” she said. “There is a little bit more demand for service.”

On the retail side, Kennebec County sales in 2013’s first quarter were slightly higher than in 2012’s first quarter, at sllightly more than $325.7 million. Peter Thompson, president and CEO of the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce, said he has observed retail businesses looking to hire help to meet that demand.

“We’ve seen pretty good growth,” he said. “That usually translates to: ‘Let’s get more people in to handle this.'”

A recent report by the Maine Sunday Telegram/Portland Press Herald looked at the Maine Jobs 2020 report, a comprehensive survey released every two years that analyzes more than 600 job categories in the state, and found that most of the jobs projected through the year 2020 do not require science, technology, engineering and mathematics — also known as STEM — backgrounds.

Of the top 25 jobs that are expected to see the highest growth in actual new job openings, 18 don’t require more than a high school education, according to the Maine Jobs 2020 report, including positions for wait staff, cashiers, maids, home health aides, janitors and warehouse workers, all of which pay around $12 an hour or less.

There are more than 50,000 unemployed Mainers and another 60,000 people who are considered “underemployed,” who have given up looking for jobs or who are working part time and want more hours than they can get.

The postings also indicated that employers were seeking workers proficient in so-called “soft skills,” which showed up most often in the postings, with communication and coordination, business environment skills and problem solving as the top three most sought-after abilities.

Most of the posts indicated employers sought applicants with work backgrounds that included sales experience. Business administration and management was the top college degree sought in postings, followed by nursing, then computer science.

“There’s nothing shocking or surprising,” said Ed Cervone, president and chief executive officer of the Maine Development Foundation, a private nonprofit organization based in Augusta. Created in 1978, the foundation is a nonpartisan membership organization that focuses on the issues of productive work forces.

Jobs for Maine’s Graduates “most definitely” will use the report, said president and chief executive officer Craig Larrabee.

The private nonprofit organization has career and education mentoring programs in 62 high schools and middle schools in the state.

“We would make this report part of our curriculum offerings in our classrooms and share that with the students directly,” he said.

The report acknowledges a discrepancy between the number of online job postings and actual job vacancies in Maine, because of duplicate postings, single postings for multiple jobs and the fact that some job openings are not posted online.

Still, the report contends, tracking online job postings can show trends, demand for certain jobs, the types of employers advertising and the mismatch in experience, skills and education between those seeking jobs and the jobs that are posted.

The report “in and of itself doesn’t answer all of the questions,” Cervone said.

He said the report is meant to be analyzed alongside other data, such as projections from the Maine Department of Labor, that together “tells a bigger story.”

The Maine Development Foundation, whose mission is to create a productive work force to drive the growth of the state’s economy, purchased the data for its report from Burning Glass, a Boston-based firm that uses technology to match people with jobs.

Cervone said the foundation will seek feedback on whether to include more or other information in subsequent reports and on how often to publish them. He said the next report will probably come out in the fall.

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Michael Shepherd contributed to this report.

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