Report: New Hampshire ranked No. 2 in unemployment gains following COVID lockdowns

By Christian Wade | The Center Square

New Hampshire boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, and its labor market also has recovered faster than most other states.

That’s according to a recent report by the personal financial website WalletHub, which gave the Granite State a second place ranking among states whose workforces have seen the quickest recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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New Hampshire has distributed nearly $2 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits to workers since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began. But it was also one of the first states to pull out of the federal pandemic unemployment programs, cutting off sidelined workers from the additional benefits before they expired.

WalletHub’s analysis used six metrics that compared states’ unemployment rate statistics from 2019 to July, the most recent month for which data is available.

New Hampshire’s unemployment rate dropped 2.0% in July – a more than 43% decline from the same month last year, according to the analysis.

From July 2020 to July 2022, the state’s unemployment rate dropped by 76.3%, the report’s authors noted. Only Minnesota, with its 1.8% unemployment rate in July, fared better.

Earlier this month, WalletHub also gave New Hampshire a second place ranking among states where unemployment claims have been declining the fastest, with only two claims filed for every 100,000 workers in the state’s labor force.

In July, the number of seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment jobs in New Hampshire was 682,300, which is 1,000 more jobs than in June, and 13,100 more jobs than the same month last year, the New Hampshire Employment Security reports. A majority of those jobs were in private industries.

Meanwhile, the number of unemployed decreased by 570 over the month to 14,970, the agency reported, which is 11,390 fewer jobless claimants than in July 2021.

New Hampshire has distributed nearly $2 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits to workers since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

But it was also one of the first states to pull out of the federal pandemic unemployment programs, cutting off sidelined workers from the additional benefits before they expired.

WalletHub noted that the analysis of the recovery of states’ unemployment rates is important with the potential for another economic recession looming.

“We have come a long way from the nearly historic high of 14.7% in April 2020, due to a combination of vaccinations and states removing restrictions,” the report’s authors wrote. “However, inflation and the potential of a recession threaten to push the unemployment rate higher again if Federal Reserve rate increases are not able to stave them off.”

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Public domain
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