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Despite Six-Figure Salaries, N.H. Struggles to Attract Enough Tech Workers

Matthew Roth/Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire continues to add high-paying tech jobs to the state’s economy--just not fast enough to meet the sector’s growing demand.

In 2016, firms in the state added 864 new technology jobs, according to a new report from the Computing Technology Industry Association.That translates into a two-percent annual growth rate.

“Two-percent growth is better than one-percent, which is what it was the year before,” said Matt Cookson, executive director of the New Hampshire High Tech Council. “But we could grow more if we could find more tech talent.”

The report finds more than 2,600 tech positions were vacant in New Hampshire during the fourth quarter of 2016, as companies struggle to fill positions in fields such as software development, telecommunications, and IT services.

The state’s unemployment rate of 2.7 percent, currently the lowest in the nation, leaves companies scrambling to find available workers.

“We’re either going to have to keep new college graduates here, or urge underemployed people to look into new career opportunities, or we are going to have to recruit people to New Hampshire to fill some of these positions,” said Cookson.

The demand for tech talent is driving salaries up, with the average tech industry wage now topping $100,000, nearly twice the state’s average wage. In New Hampshire, the tech sector accounts for more than 10 percent of the economic output.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University. He can be reached at tbookman@nhpr.org.
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