Strategic Advocacy Manager, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Director, Global Employment Policy & Special Initiatives, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Graphic Designer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
September 15, 2023
The state of New Hampshire has a favorable landscape for businesses and individuals, with a diverse economy, strong labor market recovery, and a robust small business ecosystem. Immigrants contribute meaningfully to the state's workforce and economy, while educational attainment, quality of life, and income-based factors remain promising.
The Worker Shortage Across America
Explore the interactive map below to see the impact of the worker shortage crisis in each state.
The Chamber’s Worker Shortage Index ratio indicates the number of available workers for every job opening. A ratio above 1.0 indicates a surplus of available workers compared to job openings.
New Hampshire’s Labor Market
Prior to the pandemic, New Hampshire’s labor market was relatively healthy. While the state only had 75 workers per 100 jobs, more workers were being hired into jobs than leaving them. The state's unemployment rate stood well below the national figure of 3.5%, and its labor force participation rate was higher than the national rate of 63.4%.
New Hampshire’s current labor market has not yet fully recovered, but it is displaying signs of improvement. While the state's labor force participation rate still lags behind its pre-pandemic levels, it still stands above the national average.
New Hampshire’s hiring rate continues to surpass its quit rate, and its unemployment rate is significantly lower than it was before the pandemic. These trends are particularly promising for employers, who saw a 20.6% increase in job openings from February 2020 to June 2023. On the downside, New Hampshire is heavily grappling with a severe workforce shortage, evident by the fact that there are only 35 available workers for every 100 open job positions in the state.
New Hampshire’s Business Environment
New Hampshire's business environment is diverse, encompassing a robust manufacturing sector, the largest legislative body in the nation, prestigious universities, and a thriving retail market.
Most New Hampshirites are employed by the trade, transportation, and utilities industries, along with education and health services, with construction employment being relatively minimal. New Hampshire’s employment landscape comes from its multiple apparel and fashion companies, in addition to the numerous private and public universities within the state.
New Hampshire boasts a thriving small business ecosystem, with 99% of all New Hampshire businesses falling into this category. Nearly half of New Hampshire's workforce works within small businesses. Within this dynamic landscape, women own 40% of small businesses, 3% are minority-owned, 2% are owned by Hispanics, and 8.7% are veteran-owned.
New Hampshire’s Educational Attainment
Over a quarter of New Hampshire’s population has obtained their high school diploma or its equivalent, about the national average of 21.6% in 2022. 24.6% of the population have attained a bachelor's degree, while 16.7% have secured a graduate degree, both slightly above the national average.
Slightly less than half of incoming college freshmen are remaining in the state for their higher education, where the average in-state tuition is $16,679. Out-of-state tuition in the Granite state is $30,594, slightly more expensive than the national average out-of-state tuition of $28,000. Roughly 198,000 students are enrolled in a New Hampshire college for the 2022-2023 school year. These students supply a rich talent pool from which local employers can recruit talent.
Quality of Life
New Hampshire has a median household income of $84,970, surpassing the national median average of approximately $70,000. This positions the state at 15th place among all states, although it experienced a significant decline in the past year. New Hampshire maintains a modest tax rate of 5%, employing a flat-rate structure that exclusively taxes income. This places it among the states with comparatively lower tax rates.
One-third of New Hampshire’s workforce are remote workers. For those commuting into an office, the average commute time is 27.1 minutes. The Council for Community and Economic Research measures states’ costs of living compared to the national average of 100. New Hampshire’s cost of living index falls at 115, meaning the state is less affordable in comparison to the national cost of living. The median rent settles at $1,145, while the median home cost is $467,775, both above the national average. Nearly 71.6% of the population owned their housing unit in 2021. The state experienced a growth rate of 1.21% from 2020 to 2022.
In the U.S., immigrants tend to be of working age in comparison to native-born individuals. Consequently, they are more actively engaged in the labor force, playing a dual role as both consumers and taxpayers, contributing to help fund programs like Medicare and Social Security.
Looking at New Hampshire in particular, immigrants comprise 6.4% of the state's population, totaling 87,055 individuals. Their collective spending power amounts to one billion dollars, while their tax contributions reach $3.1 billion.