Economy

Author Molly Michelmore explores what she calls the fundamental paradox of American Politics:  We’re hostile toward taxes, but we also demand the privileges government offers from social security to local police protection.  Michelmore examines the history of this conundrum and finds these attitudes consistent from FDR’s New Deal to the Reagan Revolution.

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United States Geological Survey via Wikimedia Commons

A recent report predicts slow growth in the new year for New Hampshire and New England. And, while the Granite State still ranks well on such measures as taxes and personal income,  there are some longer-term challenges that may threaten the so-called New Hampshire Advantage.  We’ll get the economic outlook for our state and our region.

Issue of the Week: The Economy

Nov 1, 2012
Flickr - Images of Money

Our issue of the week series concludes with economic policy.  No matter who wins office both nationally and in New Hampshire, they’ll face enormous budget challenges from the so-called “fiscal cliff” in Washington to tax and spending decisions in the Granite State.  And these actions will affect the broader economy.  We’ll look at the candidates’ positions.  

Guests

Are you better off now than you were four years ago? StateImpact New Hampshire looks at key economic indicators to understand how Granite Staters are doing.  And it's not the same for everyone. If you're a business consultant, construction worker, nurse or public servant -- come see how you fit into the puzzle, and share your thoughts -- at StateImpact New Hampshire.

Mixed news has recently come from the top part of our state.  The long awaited prison in Berlin is now open, and the popular ATV park is expanding, but unemployment there is higher than the state average and in recent months has gone up. We’ll look at the economic hopes and challenges for the North Country.

Guests

Charlie Jordan - editor of The Colebrook Chronicle

Edith Tucker - reporter for The Coos County Democrat and The Berlin Reporter

We look at a new study that suggests that those factors that have made New Hampshire the economic envy of the region, like its low tax burden, higher income levels and steady influx of well educated people may be waning.  And the one time New Hampshire advantage may be a thing of the past. We'll look at the study and see how bad it may be.

Guests

When we talk about challenges to the New Hampshire economy, we typically place them in context –  yes, there are challenges, but on the whole we’re in a pretty good place. After all, we have one of the nation’s highest median incomes and one of its most educated workforces, the foundations for economic success.

djwhelan via Flickr Creative Commons

Mitt Romney and President Obama frequently remind us, jobs and the economy are the issues of the 2012 presidential race. The loss of an estimated 3 million manufacturing since 2000 has carved a deep hole in the American economy. Many manufacturing jobs have gone overseas, taking a toll on the middle class wages that once anchored the American economy.

We kick off our “Issue of the Week” series with where the candidates stand on job creation.  It’s the number one talking point of this political season, with contenders for Governor, Congress and President offering up an array of solutions for getting Americans back to work.  We’ll compare their different plans, what the campaigns are saying and how it’s playing with voters.

Guests

Ross Gittell - New England Economic Project Forecast Manager and Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire.

Ulrica / Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire has the lowest child poverty rate in the country.  That’s according to new numbers released by the Census Bureau. 

In the United States, the poverty line works out to less than $23,000 a year for a family of four—that means two parents and two children.  And fewer than one out of eight New Hampshire kids are living below that line.  That’s good news.  But Carsey Institute researcher Jessica Bean says the same family of four with even twice that income—close to $46,000—is still struggling.

New Hampshire Union-Leader

Much of the debate between congressional candidates Charlie Bass and Ann McLane Kuster could have taken place between candidates in just about any district in the country.  The forum, organized by the BIA and NHPR, centered almost exclusively on the national economy.   And most of the time, the congressional candidates stuck to broad party-line talking points. 

Take Democratic challenger Ann McLane Kuster’s point on taxes and deficit reduction.

DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

StateImpact's Amanda Loder discusses the economic proposals of main Democratic gubernatorial contenders Jackie Cilley and Maggie Hassan with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley.

Tax Reform Focus of GOP Gov. Candidates' Job Plans

Sep 5, 2012
DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

StateImpact's Amanda Loder discusses the economic proposals of Republican gubernatorial contenders Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

One might think that the mom-and-pop motels of the 50’s and 60’s have all been replaced by cookie-cutter nationwide chains.

But some vintage lodgings in New Hampshire have found a way to prosper.

And now there’s an effort to push a plan to help them do even better.

We can’t blame Norman Bates for the decline of the mom-and-pop motels.

Screechy music from the shower scene in “Psycho.”

The Reluctant Recovery

Aug 15, 2012

More than three years after the recession was officially called “over”,the U.S. is still seeing sluggish growth in housing, business investment, and most importantly, employment.  We’ll ask why the economy seems so hesitant to take off including how much global woes and domestic political uncertainty are playing a role.  

Guests

Horia Varlan, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

A group of arts and media business owners have formed a coalition hoping to encourage film and TV production in the Granite State. 

The New Hampshire Production Coalition is currently developing a legislative plan that would help New Hampshire compete with more film-friendly states like Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, and Louisiana.

Tim Egan, of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, is the coalition’s president.

“Film, television, digital design, video gamers…  All the creative economy type industries don’t really have a trade association.”

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Bleak. Troubled. Struggling. Take the phrase “North Country economy”, and you’ll almost inevitably hear one of those adjectives attached to it.

And to a certain extent, it’s true; the northern New Hampshire economy has had a difficult run since the bottom fell out of the mill economy. But can a handful of downbeat adjectives really characterize a whole region’s economy?

Eighty-one percent of Coos County’s 2009 high school graduates say they don’t see job opportunities for themselves at home. And, more than 60 percent say they see those opportunities getting scarcer. That's according to the most recent survey results from the Carsey Institute's 10-year Coos Youth Study, published this week.

Anyone who’s been in this state in late July has seen  the traffic pattern – the long line of cars and trucks with boats or kayaks or bikes on the back, heading north on the highway to New Hampshire’s Lakes Region.  Some folks are heading toward campgrounds or b&b’s; some others are heading toward their own vacation homes, which in the Lakes Region can be pretty substantial.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A new, two-year study of Coos County finds that the community is strong on cooperation, but struggles with the best strategy to create jobs.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen has more on the study done by the Carsey Institute

In 2009 UNH sociologist Michele Dillon began composing a picture of Coos County.

It would be a mosaic based in large part on about four dozen interviews with community leaders.

There have been two very distinct trends during the economic recovery: the first has been very slow growth in private sector hiring. The second has been a series of losses in public sector jobs, from state employees to firefighters to schoolteachers.

A new report by the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies finds that CEO pay has risen by eighteen percent in recent years, a far greater increase than wages in the private sector. Critics say this seems out of line with the charitable mission of these hospitals. But others say these salaries are in keeping with a competitive job market and reward highly skilled leaders.

Guests

Downtown Portsmouth.
Squirrel Flight via Flickr/Creative Commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/squirrelflight/1355544138/in/photostream/

We learned recently that the cost of rental housing has been climbing in New Hampshire – a typical two bedroom apartment in the state now costs more than a thousand dollars a month. And in some parts of the Granite State, businesses are dealing with high rental costs as well.

Amanda Loder / NHPR

In this seven week series, NHPR’s StateImpact reporter Amanda Loder explores how N.H. residents feel about the state’s economy and the role state government should play in economic recovery.

Listen to series reports on-air Tuesday mornings through August 14, and any time online at StateImpact NH

Series stories

Unemployment Numbers for May Hold Steady

Jun 21, 2012
bytemarks / Flickr Creative Commons

Twenty-three hundred jobs were added to New Hampshire payrolls between April and May, but the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains stuck at 5%.

There was good news for Coos County: the North Country’s rate dipped below 8% for the first time this year.

Grafton County has the State’s lowest unemployment at 4.1%.

All in all, the data met expectations, says Bob Cote, a researcher with NH Employment Security.

With the focus on Europe’s economic woes and China’s clout, it’s easy to overlook that our nation’s largest geographic border, Canada, is also our largest trading partner.  Although, it works well most of the time, there are some tensions, like  over duty-free status, controversial energy projects, and imbalances in tourism traffic.  We’ll look at how these issues affect the bottom dollar in both countries. 

Guests

Even though the Housing Market seems to be stabilizing, foreclosures are still a major problem.  Some homeowners, who have tried to negotiate with banks are now going to court, saying they’ve not been able to get any clarity.  Meanwhile,  Lenders say they are making efforts, as they still are wading through an unprecedented number of troubled mortgages.  We'll look how foreclosures are fairing in the Granite State.

Guests

The Savings Dilemma

Jun 13, 2012

When the recession began, Americans started pinching their pennies and repaying debt, causing some to speculate that consumers might permanently abandon their free-spending ways.  But now, Americans are again loosening their purse-strings. We’ll  look at how and why our saving habits change and how these variations affect the larger economy. 

Guests

With looming debate over the  federal debt and deficits, a recent government report warns the U.S. could fall over a “fiscal cliff", and quite possibly slip back into recession.  On top of that, job growth has been uninspiring and across the pond, European economies remain shaky.  We’ll look at these new fiscal rumblings…and how we may feel them in New Hampshire.

Guests

When Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman hit Broadway and swept the Tony’s in 1949, it was a middle-class masterpiece – a transformative play that could bring even stoic-factory workers and tough-love fathers to tears. These days, the price of a ticket for the Broadway revival may be as out of reach for the average American family as a pro sports career was for Biff. 

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