Yes, I’m a little late on this. I try to keep an eye out for when Portland pops up in Top 10 or “Best of…” type lists around the country, but every so often I miss one. That happened when Men’s Health picked Maine’s largest city as second nationwide in terms of “where the babes are” — a friend pointed it out to me three weeks later.
This time, I have to credit Mayor Michael Brennan for telling me about a list that appeared last month on The Daily Beast, a website affiliated with Newsweek magazine. The list ranked America’s top places to find a summer job, and sitting comfortably atop that list was Portland.
That’s right, No. 1. Numero uno.
It’s the second year The Daily Beast has posted such a list, and the second year Portland claimed the top spot.
Here’s how the site describes its ranking criteria:
To find the best cities for youth summer employment, The Daily Beast crunched the employment numbers for the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the country. We focused on two factors: the unemployment rate for people age 16-24, with the most recent data from the U.S. Census, and the overall summer employment bump for 2011, with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The metropolitan areas that had low youth unemployment and a relatively high bump in overall summer employment made up our list.
Cities with youth unemployment rates more than 1 percent higher than the national average of 18.25 percent were immediately eliminated from contention, while bonus points were awarded to places where the minimum wage is greater than the federal standard.
Portland, at 13 percent, came in well below the national youth unemployment rate, and boasts 37,812 workers between the ages of 16 and 24. Minimum wage here is $7.50 per hour, compared to the federal figure of $7.25.
No. 2 on the list is Des Moines, Iowa, followed by Tulsa, Okla., and Madison, Wisc., respectively.