The Exchange In Depth: A Four-Part Series on New Hampshire's Workforce Challenges

May 17, 2019

The Exchange is spending four days discussing the workforce challenges in the state, starting Monday, May 20th. Read on for information about each show, and to find links to each program. 

New Hampshire boasts one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, but the state is also facing a serious workforce shortage. Starting May 20th, the Exchange looks at our state's workforce challenges from four angles: the big picture and how we got here, the experience of employers in struggling sectors, the underserved workforce (including older workers, workers with disabilities, workers with criminal records, and refugees and immigrants), and the next steps for the state. 

Series schedule:

Day 1 (Airing Monday, May 20th at 9 a.m.):

What do we mean when we say we have a workforce shortage? What do unemployment rates tell us, and not tell us, and what factors contribute to the mismatch between qualified workers and industries in need? We'll look at regional issues, demographics, and the latest numbers. 

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

Day 2 (Airing Tuesday, May 21st at 9 a.m.):

Skilled labor, manufacturing, and healthcare are three sectors facing serious workforce shortages. We look at the specific challenges for these industries, the types of jobs they are struggling to fill, and the efforts they are making to recruit employees. 

Day 3 (Airing Wednesday, May 22nd at 9 a.m.):

Even as some sectors struggle to find employees, some workers face steep barriers to employment access. We look at the underserved workforce: older workers, workers with disabilities, workers with criminal records, and refugees and immigrants. 

Day 4 (Airing Thursday, May 23rd at 9 a.m.):

New Hampshire’s economic future is dependent on the state’s self-evaluation of factors beyond the job like community, access to resources and affordable housing. The Exchange will spend the final segment of the series reflecting on why residents stay or leave and how the changing nature of work could benefit New Hampshire's best features or play to our worst fears. Also, the future of work, in New Hampshire and worldwide, will be deeply impacted as automation and artificial intelligence become increasingly available.