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Annual Kids Count Report Finds More NH Children Facing Economic Hardship

June 22, 2016 Common Cents

The annual Kids Count ranking for 2016 once again places New Hampshire among the top states for child well-being, but increases in the numbers of children and families facing financial hardship should serve as a warning sign and inspire a closer look at policies that can enhance economic stability for working families.

Released on June 21, the annual Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation measures child well-being across four indicators: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. While New Hampshire traditionally fares well among all states, it dropped from second to fourth place in the overall ranking, behind Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Iowa.

New Hampshire ranked seventh for economic well-being, a rank driven in part by increases in the numbers of children living in poverty and whose parents lack secure employment. In 2008, 9 percent of New Hampshire children lived in poverty; as of 2014 the number had increased to 13 percent, or 34,000 children. What’s more, in 2014, 64,000 children – or 24 percent – had parents who lacked secure employment, which raises concern for the future economic security of these children and their families.

chart shows occupations and pay level for four family typesThe finding that nearly one in four children have parents who lack secure employment is echoed in NHFPI’s Taking the Measure of Need report, released in March 2016. In this report, NHFPI examined the median incomes for many common types of employment and found that a sizeable number of jobs do not pay enough for many working families to afford housing, child care, food, transportation, and other basic needs. A review of the 20 most common occupations finds a large number of service-related positions, which may not offer a steady number of hours or provide sufficient income to meet family needs.

NHFPI’s The State of Working New Hampshire report further examined state employment trends and found that income for the typical household has declined since 2007, driven in part by a steady shift in the types of employment, as many higher wage manufacturing jobs have been lost over time and replaced by lower wage service-oriented positions.

As policymakers work to bring new jobs to the Granite State, they should be mindful that New Hampshire’s children depend upon the availability of employment opportunities that enable their families to earn sufficient income and achieve economic stability.

 

Annual Kids Count Report Finds More NH Children Facing Economic Hardship (PDF)

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New Hampshire’s Minimum Wage Falls Further Behind

6 Jan 2020

tree with coins

The federal minimum wage is the lowest hourly wage that can be paid to most workers anywhere in the nation. Since its inception at the national level in 1938, when only certain workers were covered, the wage has increased and encompassed more types of employees over time. State law sets New Hampshire’s minimum wage to the federal minimum level, currently at $7.25 per hour. An individual working 40 hours per week at this wage will make about $15,000 per year, assuming they work all 52 weeks. This income level is below the federal poverty guidelines for all households other than a single person, and well below the levels for households that include a partner and children.