The state’s unemployment rate was unchanged from November to December. That’s according to New Hampshire Employment Security.
On the one hand, New Hampshire’s 5.1 unemployment rate is well below the national rate of 6.7 percent. And the state’s jobless rate is actually down by more than half a percent (0.6 percent) from December 2012.
But on the other hand, part of that year-over-year progress came from a shrinking labor force. That’s according to economist Annette Nielsen of the New Hampshire Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau.
“It’s good, it’s stable, but the problem is, in order for the state to really absorb this additional supply of labor, there really has to be a stronger growth in the economy,” Nielsen says.
Nielsen says the state saw 5,800 private sector jobs created between December of 2012 and 2013. But a lot of that hiring has been for part-time and holiday retail jobs and temporary office work, which indicates businesses are still uncertain about future growth.