StateImpact
2:13 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

How NH's Manufacturing Sector Stacks Up To Its Neighbors'

Recently, the White House has had manufacturing on the brain. From the State of the Union address to Vice President Joe Biden's recent visit to Albany Engineered Composites in Rochester, the Obama administration has been pushing its plan to create more jobs in the manufacturing sector.

This renewed focus got us thinking about what New Hampshire's fabrication sector looks like now, and how it compares to other states in the region.

And fortunately, the US Census Bureau recently released a nifty interactive map that helps us do exactly that. The map itself is well worth checking out. But for our purposes, we'll be looking at information from the interactive table feature . After fussing with a bit of data, here's a screenshot of the table we created:

In the interest of making sure we're comparing apples to apples, we included population stats on every state bordering New Hampshire, as well as the total number of people in the workforce. So while Maine and New Hampshire are comparable population-wise, the Granite State has the more robust workforce numbers (at least, as of mid-March). Maine and New Hampshire are also relatively close in terms of total business establishments (where Maine has a slight edge) and manufacturing firms (where New Hampshire has the edge). Vermont, having roughly half the population of the other northern New England states, also has around half of the workforce. Meanwhile, by virtue of its high population, Massachusetts stands out as the region's economic juggernaut.

So in other words, it's about what you'd expect.

But, because we like comparing data from different angles, we've decided to figure out what percentage of each state's total business establishments is made up of fabrication firms.

Percentage Of Firms Represented By Manufacturing

So while Massachusetts is the dominant manufacturing force in terms of raw numbers, when you break the sector down based on the portion of businesses it represents, New Hampshire and Vermont come out slightly ahead.

We'll be returning to the topic of manufacturing in later posts. But in the meantime, the Census widget is too cool not to share. We've embedded a version featuring the Granite State and its nearest neighbors. If you click on "Add Topic" you can compare all sorts of info, ranging from how specific industries stack-up state to state to age and ethnic demographics.*

*Yes, we know it's a bit small, but the feature's also got some stubborn code when it comes to embedding. We can't make it bigger. But if you'd like to see larger-scale numbers, you'll want to visit the interactive map, click on the state you want to look at, then click "compare" to start adding other states to your table.

Copyright 2012 StateImpact New Hampshire. To see more, visit http://stateimpact.npr.org/new-hampshire/.