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February 16, 2014

Gallup survey hits N.H. on job creation

Most New England states fare poorly

(Continued)

Others weren’t distressed.

Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress, said the index surveys employee perceptions on hiring.

“New Hampshire has consistently had one of the lowest rates of unemployments, even during the economic downturn,” she said. “We are a small but steady state in this regard and employee perspectives on the stability in the New Hampshire workforce reflects that reality.”

The Gallup survey results did not surprise economist Dennis Delay of the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies.

“The Gallup poll is another data point that shows what other data points are demonstrating,” Delay said.

“It’s a very different economic recovery for New Hampshire from what we’ve seen previously,” he said.

New Hampshire is lagging other states in the recovery, including neighbors Massachusetts and Vermont, Delay said.

“We haven’t seen a significant amount of job growth,” Delay said.

The center’s own research has concluded the state is seeing a slowdown in both educational attainment and the growth in number of people in their 30s and 40s choosing to work in New Hampshire.

That also coincides with rising student debt.

The state also has some of the most restrictive planning and zoning ordinances affecting economic development, and the state needs improvements to roads and bridges, he said.

Delay sees the emerging policy discussion about jobs and the economy as a very good thing for New Hampshire.

“From the governor to the head of the BIA to the people in the financial sector, it is encouraging that people in New Hampshire are starting to talk about what’s going on in the economy and what we can do about it,” Delay said. “There are a lot of indicators out there that suggest future economic growth will be problematic in the state.”

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