Cost of Living

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The Exchange is working on a series of shows about workforce shortages in New Hampshire. New Hampshire boasts one of the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, but the state is also facing a serious workforce shortage.

The Exchange will spend several shows exploring how we got here, the sectors and regions most affected, and discussing possible solutions.

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New Hampshire’s minimum wage is the lowest in New England. It's the same as the federal rate: $7.25 an hour. Meanwhile, Maine sets its minimum wage at $10; Vermont, at $10.50; and Massachusetts, $11, is on the way up to $15.

For the latest in NHPR's Only in New Hampshire series, listener and lifelong Manchester resident Kathy Staub asked:

New Hampshire is surrounded by states with a minimum wage of $10 or more. How do higher wage commuters impact rents along the border?

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Although surrounded by states with minimum wages of over $10 an hour, New Hampshire holds to the federal minimum wage at $7.25 an hour, the lowest in New England. 

If you're making close to the minimum wage in New Hampshire, can you make rent?


Help us decide what story to tackle next in our "Only in New Hampshire" series. We're looking for your questions about wages. Wondering why our minimum wage is lower than in our neighbor states? What the wage gap looks like in New Hampshire? The impact of seasonal employment? Why your wages haven't gone up?

Only in New Hampshire is your place to ask questions about the state we all call home.

Submit your questions below. We'll start reporting the story in October for an upcoming episode of Word of Mouth and our newscast.

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Housing Crunch a Challenge For Upper Valley Businesses

May 11, 2018

Affordable homes in the Upper Valley are getting harder and harder to come by. 

That was the headline from real estate experts at a meeting of local business and community leaders Friday morning in West Lebanon.

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There are some obvious reasons, and some not-so-obvious for why low income people in rural New England struggle to find affordable housing.

For starters, there is simply a lack of inventory, as developers often prefer to build larger homes where there is more potential profit.

But a new study from UNH’s Carsey School of Public Policy finds that town zoning policies often present a roadblock to low-income housing by setting minimum lot sizes in rural communities.