Size of New Hampshire Labor Force Grows as Unemployment Rate Holds Steady

Data released by New Hampshire Employment Security estimated the unemployment rate in New Hampshire held steady at 2.6 percent, which the most recent data suggest it has been since October 2023. About 19,910 people were unemployed and actively seeking work in New Hampshire in March 2024. That estimate is substantially higher than the 13,690 people unemployed and actively seeking work in March 2023, when the unemployment rate was 1.8 percent. Growth in the labor force helped explain the higher levels of unemployment. The labor force, which includes New Hampshire residents who are employed and those who are unemployed but actively seeking work, was 7,710 people larger in March 2024 than a year earlier. That growth is notable relative to other recent years following the COVID-19 pandemic, but labor force levels are still lower than their peak in 2019, likely due in large part to more Granite Staters entering traditional retirement ages. There were 9,700 more filled jobs in the state in March 2024 than in March 2023. Employment gains were primarily in the industries of health care and social assistance, private educational services, and government, particularly local government.