Finance and Business Support Services
Finance and Business Support Services is currently the largest technology clusters in Maine, with employment nearing 30,000. It's interesting to note that some reports on Maine's IT workforce show an employment decline from 2007 to 2012. These same reports show a dramatic employment increase in Maine's Finance and Business Support Services during this same time period; while the national and New England workforce numbers of Finance and Business Support Services declined. Federal and State changes in occupational codes during this time and the fact that this sector was never included in past Maine technology industry studies are the most likely contributing factors to the shift of Maine’s employment numbers.
Business support service call centers are located across the state tapping into access of an attractive workforce. Firms with call center facilities in Maine include leading consumer products, financial services, and health care firms such as L.L. Bean, Carbonite, and NotifyMD. With more than 110,000 miles of fiber optic cable and 100 percent digital phone switching technology in place, Maine leads the country with its telecommunications infrastructure.
This technology sector has become a highly specialized user of information technology. Web-based services and Big Data technologies are important innovations that have and will continue to drive future employment and economic gains. Two of Maine’s top ten private employers are in the Finance and Business Support Services technology cluster: TD Bank, Maine’s eighth largest private employer and Unum, the ninth largest. Portland is the birthplace of Unum, the largest supplier of long-term disability insurance in the United States. Unum’s internal software programmers have spun off many small software firms with expertise in this vertical market. Maine is an attractive state for financial institutions and has seen technology start-ups surface to support this important sector. Maine companies that bridge software development and the financial sector include BlueTarp Financial, CashStar, Quantrix, and WEX. These four successful businesses were founded in Maine.