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Carsey: State of Working New Hampshire Is Mixed for 2009

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
September 2, 2009

As Labor Day approaches, the Carsey Institute at UNH has issued a report that looks at the state of working in New Hampshire through the end of 2008. The issue brief finds that while New Hampshire workers have fared well compared with other New England states, wages have stagnated and full-time workers now form a smaller share of the labor force.
 
Compared to the rest of the region, New Hampshire has not felt the full force of the recent economic downturn; in 2008, it had the lowest unemployment rate (four percent) and highest labor force participation rate (71 percent) of all six New England states.
 
“But these comparisons don’t capture important economic changes that are affecting Granite State workers,” says report author Allison Churilla, a research assistant at the Carsey Institute and a Ph.D. student in sociology at UNH. “Trends suggest that, although the state has fared better than its neighbors in recent years, New Hampshire workers are nonetheless feeling the effects of the economic contraction.”
 
Among the key findings:
 
·        New Hampshire workers’ median wage, $17.25 in 2008, was lower in 2008 than in any of the previous five years. Hourly wages of low-wage workers declined by seven percent over the last five years.
 
·        Full-time workers now form a smaller share of the state’s labor force, which now comprises of a growing share of involuntary part-time workers, due to layoffs and cutbacks.
 
·        Job growth in New Hampshire has outpaced all other New England states since 2000, but manufacturing jobs continue to disappear.
 
The issue brief, “The State of Working New Hampshire 2009,” is available to download at http://carseyinstitute.unh.edu/publications/IB-Churilla-NH-State-of-NH-09.pdf.
 
The Carsey Institute conducts policy and applied research on vulnerable families and on sustainable community development, giving policy makers and practitioners the timely, independent resources they need to effect change in their communities.

 


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