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NH Economic Outlook 2018

Executive Summary

Author: Greg Bird

Date: November 29th, 2017

The New Hampshire economy should continue to make strides in 2018. With initial jobless claims (a proxy measure for layoffs) steadily declining and at an extraordinarily low level, the financial condition of New Hampshire businesses appears solid. Additionally, various economic indicators (consumer confidence, median household income, unemployment) signal that household finances are healthy and improving.

The challenge of finding labor will intensify. Currently, every industry within the Granite State is finding it difficult to fill open job slots, due partly to low unemployment. Also, with many workers in their late 50s and early 60s, the economy will experience a wave of people who will partially or totally disengage from the workforce.

Consequently, outside of a significant pickup in attracting out-of-state working age people to move and work here and/or convincing many current Granite Staters who work out-of-state to work back home (neither is assumed in our baseline forecast, though are upside risks), New Hampshire employers will essentially run out of people to hire. Therefore, economic growth is anticipated to grind to a halt around 2019.

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