New Hampshire’s jobless rate dropped two-tenths of a percent in March. It now stands at four-and-a-half percent, well below the national rate, according to numbers released by the state’s Employment Security Department.
The number of jobless Granite Staters decreased by more than 1,200 in March. State Labor Market economist Annette Nielsen says with the exception of construction, there’s been growth across sectors. But the bulk of jobs are in trade, transportation, utilities, and administrative sectors. She says these tend to be lower-paying part-time or temporary positions.
“Normally, people start getting employed for temporary work, and eventually it turns on to be fulltime. We have not seen that transition, really, yet," Nielsen says. "And that’s kind of unusual for this recession versus, say, prior recessions.”
She says it’s hard to say whether it’s just employers being cautious, or if this is a cultural shift in how companies fill positions. Nearly 34,000 Granite Staters were jobless in March. Last year, that number stood at nearly 40,000.