Economy

With the holiday season upon us, we look at the outlook for N.H. retailers, as some venture into online sales; meanwhile there's also something of a retail reversal underway -- as some mega online companies go brick-and-mortar. Also, as consumer debt reaches new highs, some worry another borrowing bubble could be in the cards. And: Is the Granite State economy going strong or getting weaker?


Todd Bookman/NHPR

President Donald Trump was elected last year with a promise to put America first: to renegotiate or possibly scrap trade deals he argues aren’t benefiting the United States.

In northern New Hampshire, where the state bumps against the Canadian border, those policies are now playing out in the lumber industry, leaving loggers and sawmills on both sides of the border adjusting to a new economic landscape.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Local economies don’t turn on a dime. When a factory town loses its factories, and workers lose their jobs, it can take decades for a community to get back on its feet.

That’s been the reality in places like Berlin and Gorham: two former paper mill towns in the North Country now trying to reinvent themselves.

Businesses, officials and residents are hoping that ATV tourism can provide a much-needed financial boost. 

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Commuter rail fans in New Hampshire received some good news recently. A private train company is offering to connect Nashua and Bedford to Lowell, Mass., with the promise that the towns won’t be on the hook beyond the costs of maintaining a station. If you’ve been following commuter rail issues in New Hampshire for the past two decades, this funding scenario may jog some memories.

Boston commuter cities like Nashua are jumping on the chance to develop a private passenger rail, after years of unsuccessful campaigning for a public rail system. New Hampshire's zoning ordinances and city planning processes are drawing criticism for their contribution to the current over-priced housing market. And millennials get their own commission to help the state appeal to a younger population. 


NHPR Staff

An economist says New Hampshire state revenues are showing signs of leveling off.

Greg Bird of the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies says there's been a marked slowdown in the growth rates of four state taxes: business profits, business enterprise, meals and rentals and real estate transfers.

He says the other 15 revenue streams that feed the state's General and Education funds have remained static for the past 2 1/2 years.

Allegra Boverman/NHPR/Stay Work Play

Scott Crowder made sure to give a shout-out to his parents for instilling in him, as he puts it, “the inability to work for somebody else.”

They were fitting remarks for the person honored as New Hampshire's 2017 Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ political donations are not all tethered to one party. This holds true in New Hampshire, which plans to submit an underdog bid for the online retailer’s second headquarters.

The Amazon PAC has contributed to a Sununu -- former U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu, the governor’s brother. The PAC gave $2,000 to the former Senator in the 2008 campaign. It donated $1,000 in 2004 to the Daniel Webster PAC, the senator's leadership PAC at the time.

Other Amazon PAC donations, according to Federal Election Commission finance reports, include:

NHPR File

 

New Hampshire had the highest median income of any state in the U.S. in 2016. 

 

According to the latest income data released by the U.S. Census, the state's median household income last year was over $76 ,000, which is 30 percent higher than the national median.

 

The typical New Hampshire household earned $35,000 more a year than the typical household in Mississippi, which is the poorest state in the country.

 

Todd Bookman/NHPR

New Hampshire’s unemployment rate, which ticked down to 2.7 percent in August, remains one of the lowest in the nation.

If you are a glass-half-full person, 2.7 percent is cause for celebration, especially when you compare it to where the state was in 2009, when the recession shot the unemployment rate up to 6.6 percent.

A Manchester man has been fined $40,000 for filing false visa applications.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says Rohit Saksena, 42, runs a staffing company that specializes in connecting American companies with skilled foreign IT workers through the H-1B visa program.

Mark Crawley; Flickr

A new report weighs the economic pros and cons of second homes, especially in towns where they make up a huge chunk of local real estate. A recent forecast of state job growth holds good news for health care workers...and bad news for teachers.  And U.S. News ranks the fifty states, and finds Massachusetts and New Hampshire are the best.


DTLAexplorer

The New Hampshire job market is expected to keep growing at a modest clip, according to projections released by the New Hampshire Employment Security agency. 

In the next two years, the agency predicts the service industry, healthcare, and administrative jobs will account for much of the growth.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Grover Norquist is occasionally referred to as the ‘dark wizard’ of conservative politics. His Washington-based organization, Americans for Tax Reform, is perhaps best known for its Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which calls on politicians to oppose any increase in taxes.

cincy project, Creative Commons

Rents continue to rise in New Hampshire as a shortage of units pushes prices up.

A new report from New Hampshire Housing, based on a telephone study conducted by the UNH Survey Center, puts the median monthly rent for a 2-bedroom unit at $1,263, up four percent from last year.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire is moving forward with efforts to sharpen its focus on economic development by dividing the Department of Resources and Economic Development.

The agency is splitting into the Department of Business and Economic Affairs and the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu on Wednesday nominated Taylor Caswell to serve as the new commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs, while Jeff Rose, the current commissioner of the former agency, will take over the natural and cultural affairs post.

Courtesy of Globe Manufacturing

  

A Pittsfield-based company that specializes in making safety gear for firefighters is being acquired for $215 million dollars.

Liz West/Creative Commons

BAO Inc., a twenty-year old sales and marketing company that works with firms in the tech industry, announced plans this week to open a new office in the Manchester Millyard.

Michael Kooiman/wikimedia

Wages in New Hampshire fell in the fourth quarter of 2016, mirroring a trend seen across the country.

The average weekly paycheck in New Hampshire was $1,092, according to a report released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is down 4.1% from the previous year, the fourth largest decline in the country, and the largest dip in New England.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s economic output grew by 3 percent in 2016, the fourth highest rate in the country.

A new report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows the state’s finance and insurance sector helped fuel that performance, along with gains in retail and durable goods manufacturing.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, New Hampshire’s GDP kicked up at an annualized rate of 2.4 percent, a slowdown from the 4.6 percent growth seen in the third quarter of 2016.

Kandy Jaxx / Flickr

New Hampshire’s unemployment rate went up slightly to 2.8% in March, up from 2.7% in February. New data from the state’s Employment Security office shows modest job losses in education, retail and finance, while construction and manufacturing were basically flat.

NH DRED

The Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism is hoping out-of-state experts can help in-state businesses attract more visitors.

Lewis Hine, via Wikimedia Commons

A century ago, Manchester, New Hampshire was known for just one thing: the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.

“Amoskeag at one time, at its peak, around World War I, was more than 17,000 employees,” says John Clayton, executive director of the Manchester Historic Association and a longtime New Hampshire journalist.

  “So if you consider the scale of the city, at least half of the people who lived in this community worked for Amoskeag.”

Chris Jensen

  The Trump administration is looking to cut a federal program state officials say has helped boost the economy in New Hampshire’s northernmost regions.

The Northern Border Regional Commission was created in 2010, and targets economic development in rural areas of New Hampshire and three other Canadian border states.

The program is eliminated in the Trump administration's initial budget proposal, saving roughly $7 million.

File photo

A new report from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy says New Hampshire doesn’t necessarily need to increase energy production to grow the economy.

The report challenges a widely held economic outlook in the state that says new sources of energy, like gas pipelines or transmission wires, are needed to bring down the cost of electricity for business to grow.

Kandy Jaxx / Flickr

New Hampshire’s unemployment rate held steady at 2.7 percent for January, with modest job gains across a number of sectors.

Tax Credits via Flickr Creative Commons

Among the slate of economic measures state lawmakers will consider next session is a bill to impose an income tax. The sponsor is well aware of what he’s up against.

  New Hampshire is closing out 2016 with the nation's lowest unemployment rate, wages that are on the rise and strong real estate sales.

Combined, these factors show the state's economy is strong heading into 2017. The state's gross domestic product growth rate of 2.9 percent is among the highest in the nation, according to the most recently available federal data.

Several New Hampshire economists say the state is in its strongest economic shape since the Great Recession.

Ryan Caron King | NENC

It’s hard to avoid the hand-wringing about aging demographics in New England these days. The region's six states have the six lowest birth rates in the country. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have the oldest populations in the country, and Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts aren't far behind.

Michael Brindley

The state’s outgoing Director of Economic Development Carmen Lorentz sat down with NHPR's Morning Edition to reflect on her time on the job, and what needs to happen to improve the state's economy.

Lorentz isn't going far: she's the new Executive Director of the Laconia Area Community Land Trust.

Pages