Raising New Hampshire’s minimum wage would begin to build an economy that works for everyone in the Granite State, enhancing economic security for thousands of workers and helping to boost bottom lines at local businesses. In particular, raising the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour by 2016 would increase the wages, either directly or indirectly, of nearly 76,000 New Hampshire workers, resulting in an additional $64 million in wages, in the aggregate, being put into the state’s economy over the next two years.
While the impact of a higher minimum wage would be felt throughout New Hampshire, some regions of the state would be more affected than others, due to variations in population and in the composition of local workforces. The map at right is based on the geographic regions the US Census Bureau uses for its annual American Community Survey; as it illustrates, raising the minimum wage would have the most concentrated impact in those parts of the state with the greatest density of low-wage workers.[i]
Overall, roughly 12 percent of the New Hampshire workforce would enjoy higher wages if the minimum wage were set at $9 per hour. In Manchester and in Northern New Hampshire, which includes communities such as Berlin and Gorham, the share of the workforce affected by such a change in policy would exceed that statewide mark, at 15 percent and 14 percent respectively.[ii] A $9 per hour minimum wage would also have a more concentrated impact in the Strafford Region, which includes Dover and Rochester, and in Southwestern New Hampshire, home to Keene and Claremont, where 13 percent of the workforce would see direct or indirect wage gains.
The sheer number of workers affected by the minimum wage varies by region as well. The Seacoast, which, under the Census Bureau’s classification system, includes Salem as well as Portsmouth and Hampton, would have the largest number of workers – over 10,700 – affected if the minimum wage were to climb to $9 per hour. Manchester, the cities and towns surrounding it (such as Derry and Londonderry), and the Strafford Region would each have more than 8,000 workers that would benefit from such a wage hike.
To learn more about which cities and towns comprise each region and the impact that a minimum wage increase would have there, see the Regional Impact Calculator below.
Regional Impact Calculator
[i] The ten regions presented in this Fact Sheet are U.S. Census Bureau geographies known as “public use micro-data areas”(PUMAs). Each PUMA has a population of at least 100,000 people. PUMA boundaries follow municipal boundaries and the regions may include cities or towns from multiple counties. For more on PUMA classifications, see: https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/puma.html
[ii] The figures presented in this Fact Sheet are NHFPI calculations based on analyses of Current Population Survey and American Community Survey data conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, DC.