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Right To Work Redux Passes House

Ryan Szepan / Flickr

Once again, Right To Work legislation has passed the House

The New Hampshire House of Representatives has for the second time passed a so-called “Right To Work” bill. But the margin was well short of what would be needed to override Governor Lynch’s promised veto.

Barring unions from requiring non-members to pay for representation has been a priority for House Republican leaders. Last year Governor John Lynch vetoed a Right To Work bill, which Republicans failed to override.

Republican Marshall Quandt told colleagues this year’s version will fare no better.

“Every one of us is wasting valuable time and energy on this bill. Einstein once said the definition of insanity is to keep doin’ the same experiment and expect different results,” Quandt says.

The bill passed, but was forty votes shy of the margin needed to survive a veto.

Twenty-three states have enacted Right To Work laws. Indiana is the most recent–it took effect last month.

How Apps Are Keeping Ski Areas Honest

YoTuT / Flickr

Researchers say apps are keeping ski areas honest about snowfall

Spring weather is now starting to roll in, but just last week winter had its last hurrah. And when those big snow storms wallop the mountains, ski areas see dollar signs.

A pair of Dartmouth economists are researching the tendency of ski areas to exaggerate snowfall reports, especially on weekends, in hopes of luring more skiers to the slopes. But they found that interactive websites and smartphone apps are turning those ski areas into honest brokers.

Relying on the ski area for information about trail conditions is a bit like relying on the owner of a theater to review movies that he’s playing. In both instances there’s a pretty good incentive to make them sound a lot better than they are. Continue Reading

“Brain Waste” In New Hampshire

Flikr Creative Commons / jurvetson

Nationwide many educated immigrants are unemployed or underemployed, and New Hampshire's numbers are especially bad.

As part of New Hampshire’s Immigration Story, we’ve been looking at the economic impact of immigrants on the Granite State’s economy. The latest census data show that New Hampshire’s educated immigrants might be exceptionally underutilized.

“A recent study by the American Enterprise Institute found that for every 100 educated immigrants working in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math, 86 additional jobs are generated.

The latest Census data indicate that New Hampshire might be missing out on some of those jobs. In New Hampshire there are 42 percent more educated foreigners than nationally. Immigrants in New Hampshire have even higher rates of education than native-born residents, and the local unemployment for this population sits at around 8 percent, compared to 5.5 percent nation-wide.”

Source: NHPR

Unlikely Jazz Venue Flourishing in Laconia

Flikr Creative Commons / TheeErin

Pittman's Freight Room from Laconia is bringing high quality jazz musicians to the Lakes Region.

While we at StateImpact like to talk about trends and broad-brush movements in business and economics, occasionally it’s helpful to zoom-in and look at individual cases of business success.

For example, this weekend Adam Draphco of the Laconia Daily Sun profiled Pitman’s Freight Room, which is, of all things, a jazz listening-room in the Lakes Region.  The owner, Jonathan Lorentz, has been hosting  live jazz performances there once a week all summer. The building was being used as an antique shop until 2009, when it was renovated  as a function hall.

For those of us who grew up in the Lakes Region, a serious jazz venue seems like a hard sell, especially one that doesn’t feature a bar. But the Freight Room doesn’t isn’t a  typical music venue. It’s low-key and listening centric. Continue Reading

State Senate Weighs Tax Credits for Workforce Development

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Ross Gittell testifies before the Ways and Means Committee in the NH Senate

The New Hampshire Senate is considering a bill aimed at helping the Community College System reduce the so-called “skills gap.” The problem the manufacturing sector faces is that while there are numerous skilled jobs available, there aren’t enough people qualified to fill them. To help bridge that gap, the Senate bill would offer tax credits to businesses that partnered with the Community College System to create workforce training programs.

Hot on the heels of his Q&A with StateImpact, Community College Chancellor Ross Gittell spoke in favor of the program, saying it would be a “win-win-win.” Continue Reading

Home Foreclosures Spiked In December

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NH foreclosures spiked in December

A new report released by the New Hampshire Housing and Finance Authority shows home foreclosures spiked in December 2011–up 35 percent from that November.

Jane Law of the Housing Authority says foreclosures have been declining since their peak in 2010, and December’s jump might be an anomaly,

“The biggest factor is just mortgage companies are just kind of clearing out some inventory before the end of the year, which is the end of their tax year usually.”

Law says while there were two percent fewer foreclosures over the course of 2011 than in 2010, the recovery in the home market will be slow.

She says home prices might decline slightly  before rebounding, and it could remain a buyer’s market for some time to come.

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