Full employment in NH, a double-edged sword


Full employment in NH, a double-edged sword.

New Hampshire has had the good fortune of having the second-lowest unemployment rate in the nation (2.6% vs Hawaii at 2.0%). This is great news for the residents of the state, as the demand for employees generally outweighs the supply. Things aren’t as good in the North Country, but from a historical level, employment is reasonably healthy statewide.

The downside to this, is that employers just can’t find enough workers that meet the skill sets that they require. As a result, they either don’t hire enough, hire those without the skills, hire and train extensively, or look for creative ways to automate (been to a McDonalds lately?).

Low unemployment is an envious problem to have, and states like Ohio or West Virginia would gladly trade places with us. However, not having enough skilled workers in the state will cause potential employers to pause when considering a new business in the state, or an expansion of an existing business. In the long-run, this is a big problem.

Of course, any student of economics knows that employers simply need to raise wages to attract more and/or higher-skilled employees, and that is always the alternative; just ask the desperate manager of Shio, who needs a $50K/yr dishwasher NOW!

Your thoughts?