EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

February 16, 2014

Gallup survey hits N.H. on job creation

Most New England states fare poorly

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“In addition, New Hampshire is losing young people and not developing an adequate supply of future labor,” especially in science, technology, engineering and math related professions, he said.

New Hampshire leaders have long touted the “New Hampshire Advantage,” the state’s tax policies, including the lack of a sales or income tax, as a job creating engine.

But the poll indicates more must be done.

Gallup released the index less than a week after Gov. Maggie Hassan emphasized job creation in her State of the State address before the Legislature.

Hassan announced plans to improve state services for businesses and modernize science and math education standards, encouraged energy development, called for an investment in infrastructure, and said the state would strengthen the workforce pipeline between schools and manufacturers.

“New Hampshire’s unemployment rate remains well below the national average, our private sector is steadily creating jobs, and the bipartisan budget that just began this past summer includes numerous measures to help businesses grow,” Hassan spokesman Marc Goldberg said. “But Gov. Hassan understands that we must continue working together to address our pressing challenges and lay the foundation for long-term economic success.”

The Gallup index came out just a couple of weeks after Roche called on lawmakers to “do no harm” to the business community.

Roche identified more than a half dozen bills he said “would move New Hampshire’s economy and climate for business and job creation backward.”

Among them were bills Roche said would increase worker compensation costs, potentially lead to litigation from unhappy workers and disappointed job applicants, and raise the minimum wage.

“Businesses will add jobs when they feel confident in a state’s climate for business and if they have access to well-trained, educated workers,” Roche said last week. “There are specific, measurable ways the state can encourage more job creation – lower business taxes when possible, expand and improve the state’s research-and-development tax credit, pass right-to-work legislation, align state and federal regulations, and emphasize the need for STEM education.”

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