According to an announcement from Governor John Lynch’s office, New Hampshire’s unemployment rate dipped ever-so-slightly to 5.1 percent in December. That’s compared to 5.2 percent unemployment in November, and a national rate of 8.5 percent.
A news release from the Governor’s Office quoted Lynch as saying:
“This further decrease in New Hampshire’s unemployment rate is clear evidence that our economic strategy is working. Our unemployment rate remains 40 percent below the national average, and we are seeing more New Hampshire residents going back to work,” Gov. Lynch said. “While the decrease in the unemployment rate and increase in number of New Hampshire people working is great news for our state, we must be mindful that more than 38,000 New Hampshire citizens are still looking for work. As Governor, my focus continues to be improving our economy, keeping New Hampshire one of the most business-friendly states in the nation and helping businesses create jobs.”
Since these numbers are seasonally adjusted, they already account for any employment bump due to the holidays. We also got in touch with Dennis Delay, an economist with the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies, to get some context for these new stats. Rather than looking month-to-month, he told us (by way of email), that it’s better to look year-to-year. So from December 2010 to December 2011:
“In December 2011, compared to a year ago (December 2010)
- The civilian labor force increased
- The number of unemployed people dropped (by about 2,900)
- NH added jobs in Leisure and Hospitality, in Professional Business Services, in Healthcare, and a few hundred in Retail Trade.
So all in all, I would say its pretty good news.”