EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

February 16, 2014

Gallup survey hits N.H. on job creation

Most New England states fare poorly

So much for the “New Hampshire Advantage.”

A new survey by the Gallup polling organization puts New Hampshire among the worst states in the nation for job creation.

The index slammed New England as a whole. Only Massachusetts escaped the bottom 10, finishing in a nine-way tie for 13th best for job creation.

Gallup issued its Job Creation Index last week.

North Dakota, amid its energy boom, topped the nation for the fifth consecutive year in Gallup’s analysis.

New Hampshire tied with Maine and four other states in the seventh worst position.

Rhode Island was the worst state. Vermont tied New Mexico as runner-up worst state. Connecticut tied New York for fifth worst.

The index also includes the District of Columbia, center of the federal government, which tied with South Dakota at No. 2 for best job creation.

The index measures net hiring, with Gallup polling workers about whether their companies are hiring or laying off.

Some saw the Gallup index as reason to be concerned about just where New Hampshire is going with economic and tax policies.

The index ought to be a wake-up call for leaders in Concord, said Greg Moore, state director for Americans for Prosperity.

“Clearly, we are not competitive enough to attract new business and new jobs here,” Moore said. “People vote with their feet and we’re watching them walk to other, more friendly locations.”

The survey also troubled the president of the statewide Business and Industry Association.

“It is very concerning that New Hampshire is in the bottom tier of job-creating states in this survey,” Jim Roche said. “While New Hampshire’s quality of life may be superior, the fact remains this is an expensive place for business. We have high healthcare and energy costs, one of the highest corporate tax rates in the country, and some environmental and labor regulations that exceed federal standards and those of our neighboring states.”

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