Manufacturing in New Hampshire

Over the past 15 years or so, New Hampshire’s manufacturing economy has been moving away from traditional mill work and toward high-tech and so-called “smart” manufacturing.  In high-tech manufacturing, workers produce technological components, like computer parts.  And in smart manufacturing, advanced technology allows fewer and more skilled workers to be more efficient as they produce traditional goods.

This new-school manufacturing economy has weathered relatively well, but New Hampshire’s transition toward tech hasn’t always been a smooth one.  More automation on production lines and decades of manufacturing decline across the country have shrunk opportunities for manufacturing work.  Twenty-five years ago, about one out of every four jobs in New Hampshire was in manufacturing.  Today, only about one in six jobs fall into that sector.

All of New Hampshire’s counties host manufacturing operations.  But according to the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy, the sector is more dominant in the southwest corner of the state, covering parts of the Merrimack Valley, Monadnock, and Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee regions.  For example, in Sullivan County, nearly a third of wages come from manufacturing; in Cheshire and Hillsborough Counties, the sector accounts for about one-fifth of residents’ earnings.

Summary provided by StateImpact NH

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NH News
2:00 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Exports From N.H. Grow Faster Than Any Other State In 2013

Exports grew at 22 percent in 2013, marking the second time in 4 years that New Hampshire has led the country in export growth. The International Trade Association of New Hampshire says that Granite state businesses are now sending $4.3 billion dollars worth of goods out of the country annually.

In general, manufacturing industries drive exports; “electrical manufacturing, electrical machinery, industrial machinery, medical devices, aerospace and defense, and IT” are New Hampshire’s strong suits, according to Kim Kasim, Program director at the NH ITA.  

Word of Mouth
12:22 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

A Bicycle Built From Bamboo: Can It Get This Alabama Town Back On Track?

Credit via sadp.ku.edu

Lance Rake is Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Kansas and the creative force behind “The Semester Bicycle,” a sleek and durable bike  made of bamboo grown just three blocks from an assembly shop in Greensboro, Alabama. He’s collaborating with community development organizations in Greensboro to create more than an innovative bike, but a new manufacturing model to pull a town in an economic standstill back into the race. 

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Business and Economy
6:04 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Sturm, Ruger Announces Plans To Expand Out-Of-State

Credit Amanda Loder / NHPR

It’s been a busy few years for Sturm, Ruger…so much so, the company is looking to start another factory out-of-state. 

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Firearms Manufacturing
2:15 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Map: Where N.H.'s Gun Manufacturers Are (And Aren't)

At its Newport plant, Sturm, Ruger manufactures everything from newer assault rifles to old-fashioned revolvers.
Credit Amanda Loder / NHPR

Recently, NHPR examined the impact of the firearms industry on the state's economy.  Especially now, with gun sales at historic highs, this subset of New Hampshire's manufacturing industry is benefiting.  Looking at federal firearms manufacturing licenses, we've pinpointed where the state's firearms manufacturers are located.

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A Loaded Issue
7:20 am
Mon February 11, 2013

N.H. Benefits From Firearms Boom

Workers cast firearms parts at Sturm, Ruger's Newport foundry
Credit Amanda Loder / NHPR

As federal lawmakers grapple with tighter gun control laws, business is good for the firearms industry.Across the country, gun dealers can’t keep them on the shelves, and manufacturers can’t keep up with demand. But how do these trends affect New Hampshire's economy?

A look at the impact of the firearms industry on the Granite State's economy

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Word of Mouth
1:31 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Fast Food Jobs Should Count for Something

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.

NH News
4:58 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

More NH High School Students Head to College, Leave NH

NH DOE

The New Hampshire Department of Education says that in the past decade there has been a 6 percent increase in the number of high school graduates continuing on to college, but also a five percent increase in the number of high schoolers leaving the state for college.

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StateImpact
11:09 am
Fri May 18, 2012

New Hampshire Factories Struggle To Fill Jobs

GE Aviation Plant Manager Doug Folsom is struggling to fill jobs on the factory floor.
Photo: Amanda Loder StateImpact NH

Nationally, there are about 600,000 unfilled factory jobs.  But despite high unemployment, these jobs are proving all-but-impossible to fill, even in New Hampshire.  For one thing, most people don’t have the skills.  And many companies are handing over the training, and cost, of potential new workers to community colleges.  But that still doesn’t guarantee it will lead to new hires.

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Manufacturing
3:03 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Three Reasons Why It’s Boom Time For NH Manufacturers

A new report says “high road” policies help grow manufacturing economies
Photo: Amanda Loder NHPR

Although tourism is something of a signature industry for New Hampshire, the largest sector of the state’s economy–by far–is advanced manufacturing.  So-called “SMHT” (Smart Manufacturing/High Technology).

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Looking Up: Pockets Of Economic Strength
12:01 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Auto Parts Suppliers Hiring As Fast As They Can

Workers build cars on the assembly line at the Ford Motor Co.'s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., in December. As auto sales boom, parts suppliers are having a tough time finding the labor they need to catch up, having lost workers during the recession.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 8:17 am

Part of a series

Detroit automakers are creating thousands of new jobs amid a sales boom. And as they expand, their suppliers are racing to keep up, adding tens of thousands of new jobs.

At Bridgewater Interiors in Warren, Mich., for example, the pace is intense. Hundreds of union employees scurry to fill a growing list of orders. The factory floor is packed with stacks of foam cushions, seat covers and headrests.

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Looking Up: Pockets Of Economic Strength
4:18 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Factories 'Reshore' Some Work From Overseas

AGCO employees work on the assembly line in the company's newly expanded Jackson, Minn., manufacturing plant. The expansion brought the facility's staff from 850 to 1,050 workers and allows the plant to make tractors that were previously made in France.
Jackson Forderer for Minnesota Public Radio

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

Part of a series

During the worst of the Great Recession, U.S. factory jobs were disappearing at a furious pace. As 2007 began, about 14 million Americans were working in manufacturing.

Three years and one frightful recession later, only 11.5 million were.

But since 2010, employment has been ticking back up, with companies adding about 400,000 jobs.

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StateImpact
11:41 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Why Gen Y's (Slowly) Reconsidering Factory Work

Originally published on Tue March 13, 2012 11:41 am

Recently,

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Business
3:41 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Are Tax Breaks The Right Move For Manufacturing?

A welder at Specialty Fab in North Lima, Ohio, works March 1 on a piece of a compressor skid frame that is bound for the Ohio Shale project. Manufacturing companies such as Specialty Fab could receive tax breaks if a proposal from the Obama administration goes through.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 10:51 am

The White House says restoring the U.S. manufacturing sector is an essential part of getting the economy back on track.

GOP candidate Rick Santorum wants to see tax breaks for manufacturing companies, and the Obama administration proposed something similar last week. But economists say tax breaks may not be the best way to help manufacturers right now.

Over the years, the steady loss of good factory jobs is a big reason why wages have stagnated for people who never went to college, says Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

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StateImpact
3:35 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Why One Reporter Says There’s No “Skills Gap” In Manufacturing, After All

Machinist at GE Aviation in Hooksett, NH. Reporter Lila Shapiro says talk of a "skills gap" in manufacturing is overblown.
Photo: Amanda Loder StateImpact-NH

First of all, if you haven’t read

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StateImpact
2:15 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

Breaking Down NH's Manufacturing Economy By County

Given that manufacturing got prominent play in the State of the State address and is a key piece of President Obama's new jobs initiative, StateImpact's in full-on da

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