Economy

In just over a week Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is set to close. It means the end of a long-running debate over the plant and nuclear energy in the Green Mountain State, but it could also mean the start of some economic challenges for the area surrounding the plant, including parts of New Hampshire's Monadnock Region.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan touted her economic credentials at a campaign stop at a Manchester marketing company Tuesday. She also fired a few shots at her opponent, Walt Havenstein.

Hassan argued she’s better equipped to help small businesses than rival Walt Havenstein. Internet marketing company Commonplaces was a beneficiary of job training grants. Hassan championed that program and what she terms bipartisan successes like increasing higher ed funding, raising the gas tax and expanding Medicaid.

Commuting To Boston: The Daily Exodus Out Of N.H.

Sep 17, 2014
Bricky Cement / Flickr/CC

More than eighty-thousand Granite Staters travel to the Bay State for work, a fact that’s been cited as both an economic boon and drawback for New Hampshire. While both views could be valid, there are other impacts too: work-life balance and community involvement can take a hit when people spend a long time commuting.

GUESTS:

N.H. Unemployment Rate Unchanged In July

Aug 12, 2014

New Hampshire’s unemployment rate remained unchanged last month, at 4.4 percent.   At the same time last year, it was 5.2 percent.   But the state’s Employment Security office reports the number of Granite Staters in the workforce shrank by 2,550 people from June.  And 310 more people were unemployed.   Nationally, the jobless rate went up slightly, to 6.2 percent.

The Bretton Woods Conference: History And Legacy

Aug 12, 2014
Matthew Simoneau / Flickr/CC

Signed in New Hampshire seventy years ago this summer, the Bretton Woods Agreement established the U.S. dollar as the new standard for global trade. We’ll look at what changes this agreement made to the global trade system, some of the personalities behind it, and its legacy extending to the present day.

GUESTS:

N.H.'s Economy: Back On Track?

Aug 11, 2014
Congressman Frank Guinta / Flickr/CC

Both at the national level and in New Hampshire, several signs suggest the economy is on the mend, with a stronger job market, firmer consumer confidence, and more generous lending among banks.  Still, some experts warn this recovery is incomplete, with troubling factors such as slow wage growth and international turmoil.

GUESTS:

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein says lowering the state’s business profits tax is part of his plan to create 25,000 new jobs by August 2017.

Walt Havenstein says under his plan, reducing the tax from 8.5% to 7.4% would take place over two budget cycles.

The former BAE CEO acknowledged it would cost the state $50 million in revenue in the first biennium, but says no spending cuts would be needed.

“Even at our meager, meager anemic growth rate, our growth rate will offset that particular reduction.”

MMBOB / Flickr Creative Commons

Upon first glance, the numbers look good, the U.S. jobless rate now sits at 6.6%, a full 1.6% better than last year. But dig deeper into those numbers and you find a different story: currently 4 million Americans have been out of work for more than half a year, and in New Hampshire that makes up nearly 32% of the jobless. But now, the stress of long-term unemployment is being felt even more as the extensions usually given after 6  months were dropped in December leaving 1,300 in New Hampshire and nearly 2 million nationwide without benefits.

In her State of the State address today, Governor Maggie Hassan called on state lawmakers to restore and increase New Hampshire’s minimum wage.

The state Legislature in 2011 eliminated the state minimum wage and defaulted to the federal wage of $7.25 an hour.

Senator Lou D’Allesandro, a Manchester Democrat, agrees the minimum wage should be raised, but knows the debate will be a long and difficult one.

LendingMemo / Flickr Creative Commons

Just many places across the country, the New Hampshire’s recover from the recession has been slow. Recently, though, many are pointing to signs of an upswing. Housing prices are going up, while foreclosures are going down.  Consumer confidence is better than it has been in a while, and unemployment is now at 5.1% - 11th best in the country. But all is not perfect:  many in the Granite State worry about high energy costs, the Affordable Care Act’s effect on business, and uneven progress in different regions of the state.

Sara Plourde

After years of isolationism, the U.S. rose in the 20th century to become the world’s sole superpower. Today, economic growth is slow, unemployment and income inequality are rising, and political impasses have ground policy initiatives to a halt. America’s status in global manufacturing, education, and innovation is slipping. Many economists project that China is poised to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest economy. It all sounds pretty bleak…but economist Charles Kenny paints a much rosier picture. In his book The Upside of Down: Why the Rise of the Rest is Good for the West he argues that Americans should stop worrying and learn to love the decline.

Jen Goellnitz via flickr Creative Commons

While an increasing number of states and retailers are looking to pass GMO labeling laws, planting genetically modified corn, soybeans, and cotton remains the norm among North American farmers.  Seed makers claim that of modified – or treated – crops resist pests and disease, reducing the need for expensive herbicides and pesticides. In pockets across the nation, however, farmers who once championed GMO seeds are complaining that they no longer deliver on those claims. Some are reverting back to conventional seeds for their commodities crops.  Elizabeth Royte is a contributor for Fern, The Food and Environment Reporting Network.  Her article, “The Post GMO-Economy” is featured in the winter issue of Modern Farmer.

The Two New Hampshires

Dec 4, 2013

New Hampshire Economist and Chancellor of the Community College System Ross Gitell is looking at the major demographic and economic differences between the rural and more urban parts of our state - a divide he says is growing. We’re talking about that, and his ideas on closing the gap.  

GUESTS:

via USTR.gov

Jon Bresler was an early supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement. As owner of Suncook Woven Labels, a textile company whose customers included Ralph Lauren, The Gap and J.C. Penney, Bresler figured anything that would break down trade barriers between the United States, Mexico and Canada would be good for business.

Pigeonpie via Flickr Creative Commons

At the height of the recession, the Class of 2011 was taking PSATs and perusing college brochures. What is it like to make plans for your future in a country whose economic future is uncertain?

To find out, we talk to four former students of Pembroke Academy: Matthew Lindsay, junior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Sarah Kelley, junior at University of New Hampshire; Hannah David, junior at University of New Hampshire; and Kali Mara, senior at Plymouth State University

Sara Plourde / NHPR

New Hampshire women had plenty to celebrate a year ago, when voters elected a woman to the corner office in Concord and sent the nation’s first all-female congressional delegation to Washington.

But while the state’s political leadership basked in the media attention, most New Hampshire women continued to struggle with unequal treatment on the job.

Courtesy Addie Gann

On September 15th, 2008, the financial services firm Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11.  The subprime mortgage crisis had been percolating for months by then, as had a global economic decline – but the bankruptcy of the nation’s fourth largest investment bank panicked Wall Street, evaporating liquidity markets, sending the economy sharply downward, and sparking the worst global recession since World War II – a crisis from which the world’s economy is still recovering.

Courtesy Emily Wienberg

On September 15th, 2008, the financial services firm Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11.  The subprime mortgage crisis had been percolating for months by then, as had a global economic decline – but the bankruptcy of the nation’s fourth largest investment bank panicked Wall Street, evaporating liquidity markets, sending the economy sharply downward, and sparking the worst global recession since World War II – a crisis from which the world’s economy is still recovering.

As part of NHPR’s station-wide series “How We Work: Five Years Later,” Word of Mouth presents “The Class of 2008,” conversations with people who graduated from high school or college around the time of the global economic meltdown.

Courtesy Tim Mitsopoulos

On September 15th, 2008, the financial services firm Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11.  The subprime mortgage crisis had been percolating for months by then, as had a global economic decline – but the bankruptcy of the nation’s fourth largest investment bank panicked Wall Street, evaporating liquidity markets, sending the economy sharply downward, and sparking the worst global recession since World War II – a crisis from which the world’s economy is still recovering.

Economic forecasts for New Hampshire have repeatedly predicted slow but steady job growth, for the US as a whole and for New Hampshire. A report last week suggested that the state won’t reach its pre-recession job level until spring of 2014.

But the number of jobs isn’t the whole story of how we work in New Hampshire, five years after the start of the Great Recession. Many workers who want full-time jobs can only find part time employment.

via shanghaiscrap.com

Chances are you came in contact with something made from recycled material today. A can of soda…the carpeting in your office building, or the smart phone that’s an arms length or less away. . They’re part of a swirling cycle of good made from old items and fed back into the production of new stuff. And the more we buy…the more we need to recycle. But where does all of that recycled material ultimately end up? Adam Minter is Shanghai correspondent for Bloomberg World View and a frequent contributor to The Atlantic and other publications. He’s followed the trail of trash and found that most of it ends up in China and India. He’s author of Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion Dollar Trash Trade.

Courtesy Jessica O'Hare

On September 15th, 2008, the financial services firm Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11.  The subprime mortgage crisis had been percolating for months by then, as had a global economic decline – but the bankruptcy of the nation’s fourth largest investment bank panicked Wall Street, evaporating liquidity markets, sending the economy sharply downward, and sparking the worst global recession since World War II – a crisis from which the world’s economy is still recovering.

As part of NHPR’s station-wide series “How We Work: Five Years Later,” Word of Mouth presents “The Class of 2008,” conversations with people who graduated from high school or college around the time of the global economic meltdown.

SpeakerBoehner / Flickr Creative Commons

With a deadline looming for the US to hit its borrowing limit, and amid a lengthening partial federal shutdown, we’re looking at the latest efforts in Washington to resolve this, and also at the impact on our country and our state.

Guest:

  • Matthew J. Slaughter is professor and associate dean at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He is also currently an adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Congressional Budget Office's Panel of Economic Advisers.
NHPR / Michael Brindley

With the government shutdown now in its second week, there’s growing bipartisan concern in New Hampshire about the impact on state tourism and the local economy.

But there’s a difference of opinion on who’s to blame in Washington.

With Columbus Day weekend approaching, nearly two dozen campgrounds on federal land in the White Mountain National Forest remain closed due to the shutdown.

State Representative Warren Groen of Rochester says the state’s tourists and business owners are paying the price.

purpleslog via Flickr Creative Commons

In a down economy, most folks are happy to find a crumpled fiver in a jacket pocket, or fish out quarters to pay for parking.  Not David Wolman. David is a contributing editor at Wired magazine, and author of the book The End of Money, for which he attempted to spend a year without touching or passing any paper money.  We spoke David when the book was first released.  It’s being released on paperback in October.

Nick McPhee via flickr Creative Commons

The Department of Labor reports that last year’s national wage rate crept up only 2%, confirming what many US workers can already tell you: wages have stagnated. Not so for one high-demand job: babysitters. Over the past 30 years, teenage babysitting rates have risen nine times faster than the rate of inflation – commanding an average of $10 per hour. Depending on location and a sitter’s skill set, parents can shell out as much as $17 an hour for a night out. Megan Woolhouse covers the economy for the Boston Globe’s business section. Her article on babysitters making bank alerted us to this one sector of high wage growth.

Bryan Costin via flickr Creative Commons

How much tip do you typically leave for your server when you dine out? Maybe 20% if the service is good? 18% if you can do the math? The New York Post reported last year that many diners in that city leave a 25% to even 30% gratuity to their bill. Tipping is meant to incentivize and reward exceptional service, but a new movement proposes that the quest for the mighty tip is at the root of some problems in the restaurant industry. Bruce McAdams is a seasoned restauranteur and professor leading the Sustainable Restaurant Project at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada…he gave a Ted-X talk last year on the problems with restaurant tipping.

via Monadnock Lyceum

Judy Wicks will discuss her evolution as an entrepreneur and how she would not only change her neighborhood, but would also change her world – helping communities far and wide create local living economies that value people, nature and place more than money. Focusing on what it takes to marry social change and commerce, and doing business differently, Judy shows how entrepreneurs, as well as consumers, can follow both mind and heart, cultivate lasting relationships with each other and the planet, and build a new compassionate economy that will bring us greater security, as well as happiness

The New Hampshire economy still is a good-news-bad-news scenario, athough a lot more good lately.  Unemployment ticked down in July, to five point-one-percent. Foreclosures ticked down as well, while home sales are roaring. But in the business world, a recent national study finds New Hampshire lagging in new business start ups, and construction is still sluggish.  We’ll look at the economy from all sides and what the future may hold.

Guests:

via monadnocklyceum.org

Gar Alperovitz calls for an evolution, not a revolution, into a new system that would democratize the ownership of wealth, strengthen communities in diverse ways, and be governed by policies and institutions sophisticated enough to manage a large-scale, powerful economy.

What is the next system? It is not corporate capitalism, not state socialism, but something else— something entirely American, something building on our pragmatic American “can do” spirit that is also sophisticated about what it will ultimately take to alter our corporate dominated system over time.

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