Sununu highlights NH’s historic jobs numbers as unemployment hits 2.5%

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Gov. Chris Sununu, speaking at Oracle/Dyn in May of 2018 says he’s got a big catcher’s mit and is ready to grab all the businesses heading north from CT, Mass., and NY for New Hampshire’s advantage. May 2018 File Photo taken at Oracle Dyn. /Carol Robidoux

CONCORD, NH – Following the news that 763,040 New Hampshire residents are employed in the Granite State, and unemployment rates had reached 2.5 percent – a low that has not been reached since August of 1988 –  Governor Chris Sununu on Tuesday issued the following statement:

“Thanks to the strategic initiatives that New Hampshire has made, and our pro-growth, pro-jobs focus, more Granite Staters are working than ever before in the state’s history. As New Hampshire’s unemployment rate remains well below the national average, it’s clear that we continue to set the gold standard for the rest of the country. Our strong, thriving workforce will serve as a solid foundation for further economic development.”

Also weighing in was NH Commissioner of the Department of Business and Economic Affairs, Taylor Caswell:

“Today’s economic news continues the positive trends of the past few years relating to the labor force; demographics; migration; exports; unemployment, and capital investment,” Caswell said. “We can say with confidence that New Hampshire’s economy remains highly competitive and will continue to attract top talent and world-class employers.”


National outlook

Nationally, the unemployment rate is holding at 3.7 percent, according to the Dec. 7 Bureau of Labor Statistics report. A summary of the November jobs numbers is below:

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 155,000 in November, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Job gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing.

Household Survey Data

In November, the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent for the third month in a row, and the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 6.0 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by 0.4 percentage point and 641,000, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.3 percent), adult women (3.4 percent), teenagers (12.0 percent), Whites (3.4 percent), Blacks (5.9 percent), Asians (2.7 percent), and Hispanics (4.5 percent) showed little or no change in November.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 120,000 to 1.3 million in November. These individuals accounted for 20.8 percent of the unemployed. (

Both the labor force participation rate, at 62.9 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.6 percent, were unchanged in November.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 4.8 million, changed little in November. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.

In November, 1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, an increase of 197,000 from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 453,000 discouraged workers in November, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.2 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in November had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 155,000 in November, compared with an average monthly gain of 209,000 over the prior 12 months. In November, job gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, and in transportation and warehousing.

Health care employment rose by 32,000 in November. Within the industry, job gains occurred in ambulatory health care services (+19,000) and hospitals (+13,000). Over the year, health care has added 328,000 jobs. In November, manufacturing added 27,000 jobs, with increases in chemicals (+6,000) and primary metals (+3,000). Manufacturing employment has increased by 288,000 over the year, largely in durable goods industries. Employment in transportation and warehousing rose by 25,000 in November. Job gains occurred in couriers and messengers (+10,000) and in warehousing and storage (+6,000).

Over the year, transportation and warehousing has added 192,000 jobs. In November, employment in professional and business services continued on an upward trend (+32,000). The industry has added 561,000 jobs over the year. Retail trade employment changed little in November (+18,000). Job growth occurred in general merchandise stores (+39,000) and miscellaneous store retailers (+10,000). These gains were offset, in part, by declines in clothing and clothing accessories stores (-14,000); electronics and appliance stores(-11,000); and sporting goods, hobby, and book stores (-11,000).

Employment in other major industries – including mining, construction, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government – showed little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours in November. In manufacturing, both the workweek and overtime were unchanged (40.8 hours and 3.5 hours, respectively).

The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls held at 33.7 hours.

In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $27.35. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 81 cents, or 3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.95 in November.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised down from +250,000 to +237,000, and the change for September was revised up from +118,000 to +119,000. With these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 12,000 less than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 170,000 per month over the last 3 months.

The Employment Situation for December is scheduled to be released on Friday, January 4, 2019, at 8:30 a.m.

About this Author

carol-robidoux

Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!