Still, Breton praises the town’s efforts through its Community Development staff to encourage small business development.
“Over the last three years, that has become more vibrant,” Breton said.
Salem seemingly has many of the advantages Londonderry enjoys, but still struggles with employment.
Preece and town planning director Ross Moldoff say they don’t know why unemployment is higher there.
“Salem’s unemployment rate has always been higher than the New Hampshire rate,” Moldoff said.
Plaistow human resources coordinator Lori Sadewicz, who oversees welfare, said she’s unsure why the town has a high rate.
“They don’t give me an explanation,” Sadewicz said.
Annette Nielsen, an economist with the state’s Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau, said when analyzing unemployment in those communities it’s more fair to judge them by the greater Boston area than the rest of New Hampshire.
“Part of it is the dynamic of the labor market,” Nielsen said.
“They are both on the border,” she said. “They are more prone to be affected by the health of the Massachusetts labor market.”
The job opportunities and high wages in Massachusetts can negatively affect places like Plaistow and Salem, she said.
“This attracts more people, but it is very competitive,” Nielsen said.
A job fair two weeks ago in Salem attracted 235 people, according to Pam Szacik, the state’s director of employment services.
Some scheduled interviews, but it will be several weeks before the state knows how many led to jobs, she said.
Rockingham County unemployment was 5.5 percent, second highest among Granite State counties to the 5.8 percent in Coos. Sullivan County was the lowest at 4.3 percent.
New Hampshire’s unemployment was second best in New England to the 4.8 percent of Vermont and seventh in the nation. Massachusetts was at 7.4 percent, with Rhode Island the highest at 8.5 percent.