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Regional Impact of Raising New Hampshire’s Minimum Wage

Regional Impact of Raising NH Minimum WageRaising 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.

Impact of Minimum Wage Increase Would Vary by RegionThe 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.

 

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New Data Show Food Insecurity Levels Declining Prior to the COVID-19 Crisis

10 Sep 2020

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According to data released on September 9 by the United States Department of Agriculture, food insecurity levels in New Hampshire continued to decline during 2019, prior to the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The report outlines the trends of reduced food insecurity in the nation and in New Hampshire, declining from the higher levels resulting from the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. The overall improvements to the state economy through 2019, along with the effectiveness of key nutritional aid programs, did contribute to lower levels of food insecurity, although the benefits of the economic recovery did not reach all Granite Staters in an equal or timely manner. Although food insecurity levels declined through the years preceding 2020, the current crisis facing Granite Staters is not reflected in these 2019 data. The recent economic pressures on many individuals and families with lower incomes in New Hampshire have been severe, and current levels of food insecurity are very likely to be substantially higher.