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N.H. Unemployment Rate Holds Steady as Summer Hiring Picks Up

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Andreas Klinke Johannsen/Flickr Creative Commons
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The state’s unemployment rate for July was 2.9 percent, unchanged from the previous month.

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July saw a hiring bump in tourism-related sectors, including restaurants and hospitality, where about 6,000 new positions were filled, according to new data from N.H. Employment Security. Overall, the state added more than 10,500 jobs, based on employer surveys.

Still, the economy has not returned to full steam yet.

“We are not back to our pre-pandemic labor force,” said Brian Gottlob, director of the economic and labor market bureau for N.H. Employment Security. “We know a number of people have stepped out of the labor force.”

Childcare issues and health concerns for some older workers are keeping people sidelined, he said. The state estimates the overall labor force—the total number of residents working and looking for work—remains between 8,000 and 10,000 lower than before the pandemic. That’s resulted in a wave of open positions statewide that’s left employers across numerous industries struggling to fill positions.

The July jobs report shows that on a seasonally adjusted basis, the state saw about 1,600 fewer residents working, though Gottlob cautioned that due to the seismic effects of the pandemic on the economy, the traditional formulas used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to compute seasonal adjustments are likely flawed.

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.

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