New Hampshire’s jobless rate dropped two-tenths of a percent in March. It now stands at four-and-a-half percent, well below the national rate, according to numbers released by the state’s Employment Security Department.
The work of the New Hampshire Food Bank is well established in the state, providing millions of pounds of food every year to food pantries and soup kitchens north and south. Less well-known, perhaps, are the programs it has developed that address the causes of hunger -- helping people get training that leads to employment and to food security.
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.
Thirteen unemployed and underemployed people from New Hampshire and Vermont will soon be taking jobs with Dartmouth-Hitchcock as medical coders. Today they graduate from an innovative cross-state program.
More than 50 businesses have started in New Hampshire in the past six months thanks to a law allowing laid-off workers to fund them with their unemployment benefits. That’s according to the Small Business Development Center at UNH, which administers the so-called “Pathway To Work” program.
The local jobs picture in New Hampshire continues to improve. New data out Thursday from N.H. Employment Security shows that all ten counties had lower unemployment rates in November than compared to the start of 2013.
The rate in Coos County remains the highest in the state, but it’s down 2.4% from last January. Cheshire and Strafford have each seen their jobless rates fall by 2 percentage points.
To get a glimpse of how each individual New Hampshire county is doing with regard to job recovery after the recession, check out the map below. The graphs cover the period from January 2008 through March 2013, the most recent numbers available.
What you're not seeing: Employment trends upward in the spring and summer months; final figures for 2013 will give us a clearer picture of where we are, but won't be available until next year.
After citing the latest unemployment statistics, many media reports add a note about the number not including “discouraged workers.” Those are people who gave up after months of unemployment. But there is another, much smaller group of people who have decided to make their own jobs, by starting a business.
The automatic federal budget cuts known as “Sequestration” will soon hit the long-term unemployed in New Hampshire. People who remain jobless for more than 26 weeks are eligible for federally-funded emergency unemployment benefits.
A recent study from Northeastern University reveals a crippling catch- 22 for the long-term unemployed. Matthew O’Brien is an associate editor at The Atlantic who recently took a look at the date and wrote about the gloomy prospects for people who’ve been too long without work.
The International Labor Organization – or ILO -- announced last week that global unemployment has dipped to its lowest level since December 2008. However, the numbers don’t look nearly as promising for young people. An estimated 75 million people in the 15-to-24 range will be unemployed this year. The ILO warns that if these trends continue, a generation will be scarred by economic disadvantage. Mona Mourshed is Education Director for the McKinsey Center for Government , which is studying youth unemployment. Mona is co-author of the McKinsey report: “Education to Employment: Designing a System That Works.”