How We Work: Five Years Later

It’s been five years since "The Great Recession" and NHPR is looking back, looking ahead, and, most of all,  looking at right now.

In this week-long series, we’ll explore how we work in a changed economic landscape: What work means to Granite Staters these days, and the forces that may shape N.H.’s economic future.


Series made possible with support from:

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.

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.

Specspaces via Flickr Creative Commons

Home prices are generally lower than they were 5 years ago, lenders are offering relatively low interest rates, and foreclosures are down after historic highs. At the same time, many home owners are still under water, meaning they owe more than their home is worth. To learn more about the housing market in the state and its impact on jobs, we turn to Russ Thibeault, the President of Applied Economic Research, an economic and real estate consulting firm based in Laconia.

Amanda Loder / NHPR

  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.

Sheryl Rich-Kern, NHPR

Arcade games. Billiard tables. Onsite oil changes and dry cleaning. No limits on vacations.

These are just a few of the perks companies like the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) are cooking up to attract and keep top talent.

The IAPP produces conferences and courses for people who do things like investigate cybercrime or evaluate privacy ethics.

CEO Trevor Hughes shows off the IAPP headquarters, a converted machine shop designed to look more appealing with wood beam ceilings and funky artwork.