As NHPR’s Dan Gorenstein reports, despite the fact that New Hampshire’s economy is stronger than most of the country’s and has an unemployment rate well below the national average, Republican voters are still worried about their future. As New Hampshire economist Ross Gittell puts it: “It’s all relative.”
Gittell told Gorenstein:
“The national unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. New Hampshire, it’s currently 5.2 percent. New Hampshire has relatively high per capita income. Lowest poverty rate in the nation.”
But Gittell is quick to add, it’s all relative. Like most everywhere else in the country, New Hampshire has lost jobs, had its confidence shaken.
‘The economic outlook for families across New Hampshire has declined quite significantly since the last primary.’
During the Recession, in and around New Hampshire, residential construction work dried up.”
Gorenstein also spoke to Republican voters and found that for many people the economy frames how they will vote in the primary — though some residents are still undecided:
“The Maloys are among the most affluent in the state. They run a successful mail order business expecting to gross more than $40 million this year. So successful, they actually want to expand their company, create new jobs. But with so much economic uncertainty, Joe says the company can’t move right now.
“What’s unknown is, is that $10 an hour employee going to cost me $15, or is it going to be $18, $20, $25?”
The Maloys don’t know who they’ll vote for yet.”