Manchester Roundtable Examines Challenge of Making Ends Meet

May 20, 2016

Concord, NH – New Hampshire has one of the higher costs of living in the nation, leaving many working families to face a substantial gap between what they earn and what they must spend on essentials — from housing and groceries to health care and child care. Manchester residents and organizations gathered on Friday, May 20 in Manchester to discuss the challenges facing working families in the Granite State and policy solutions to enhance their economic stability.

Convened by the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute and the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, the event provided an opportunity for participants to develop a deeper understanding of how the New Hampshire economy feels to many Granite Staters.

“New Hampshire’s economy is moving forward, but it is still leaving too many working Granite Staters behind,” said NHFPI Executive Director Jeff McLynch. “Wages and incomes have yet to regain the ground they lost during the recession, while health care, housing, and child care costs continue to strain family budgets. What’s more, the difficulty of paying the bills today means that residents from Manchester to Pittsburg are unable to plan for tomorrow and to set something aside for a home, their retirement, or their children’s education.”

The event opened with an overview of NHFPI’s recent research examining the level of economic insecurity in the state and the income required to afford a basic standard of living in various geographic regions. NHFPI’s research finds that a sizeable number of New Hampshire jobs do not pay enough for families to afford a modest standard of living in the Granite State.

“Rising costs, stagnant wages, and outdated workplace policies have made the American dream unattainable for too many working families in New Hampshire,” said Amanda Sears, Director of the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. “It’s time to build a family friendly economy that works for everyone through smart policies that lift wages and ensure working people have the support they need to ensure their families are well cared for.”

Nearly 40 participants gathered for the event, which featured residents from Manchester and other regions of the state who shared their personal struggles to afford the cost of housing, child care and other essentials. Held at the Families in Transition Family Willows facility in Manchester, the roundtable included representatives from area health, housing, human service, and advocacy organizations working to support the needs of low- and moderate income workers and families.

“We are thrilled that so many organizations working on behalf of those struggling to make ends meet in here in Manchester and beyond were able to come together today to share their insights and to discuss ways public policies can be improved to ease those struggles,” added McLynch.

NHFPI’s reports, Taking the Measure of Need in the Granite State and The State of Working New Hampshire, are available online at


The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to exploring, developing, and promoting public policies that foster economic opportunity and prosperity for all New Hampshire residents, with an emphasis on low- and moderate-income families and individuals. Learn more at