On the Friday before Labor Day, the U.S. Labor Department announced employers added 1.4 million jobs in August, bringing the unemployment rate down to 8.4 percent. That’s a single-month decline of 1.8 percent, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 2.8 million.

Not surprisingly, President Donald Trump touted the good news of a “gangbuster jobs report” two months before November’s election.

“While Joe Biden continues to root for bad news, the economy maintained its rapid recovery as more and more Americans are returning to work,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for Trump 2020.

“For the fourth consecutive month, the American economy has added a massive number of jobs in the greatest period of job growth in history. The 1.4 million jobs added in August are 2.5 times the number of jobs created in any single month of the entire Obama-Biden Administration, driving the unemployment rate down again,” Murtaugh added.

But as good as the news is across the nation, it’s even better in the Granite State. New Hampshire Employment Security (NHES) reports July’s unemployment fell to 8.1 percent, and according to NHES Deputy Commissioner Richard Lavers, New Hampshire has been consistently outpacing the nation on job recovery.

“New Hampshire and Maine continue to lead the northeast having the lowest percentage of their pre-pandemic workforce filing for [unemployment] benefits,” Lavers told NHJournal. “We’re currently at 5.6 percent and Maine is at 5.5 percent.”

 

U.S. Jobs Recovery (blue) VS. N.H. Jobs (red)

“Our rate of recovery continues to exceed the nation as a whole with New Hampshire having experienced a 62 percent reduction in unemployment claims since its peak on May 2, compared to the U.S. having experienced a 43 percent reduction since its peak May 9,” Lavers said.

If that 8.1 percent July number still sounds high, it is. Consider that one year ago, New Hampshire’s jobless number was just 2.6 percent. Because New Hampshire consistently had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation before the COVID-19 crisis, its fluctuations were greater.

“The speed with which these significant shifts are occurring during the pandemic is most notable,” Lavers said. “While it only took eight weeks for New Hampshire to reach its peak unemployment (17 percent) at the beginning of the pandemic, it then only took three months for that rate to be cut in less than half. Now we are at one-third of that peak rate. Compare that to the Great Recession when it took New Hampshire over six years to cut the peak unemployment rate in half.”

Gov. Chris Sununu says aggressive state action has helped speed the turnaround.

“We put hundreds of millions of dollars, more than any other state dollar for dollar, into our businesses to make sure that they can pay their bills, they can hire their employees, they can pay their taxes and utilities, whatever they need to survive. I think, given that our unemployment rate is dropping now twice as fast as the national average, we’re now below 6 percent as of today in terms of [weekly jobless claims], which typically wouldn’t be a good number, but relatively speaking, it’s a great number. We’re in a much better place now than we thought we would be back in March and April,” Sununu said in a statement.

Bruce Berke with the National Federation of Independent Business in New Hampshire agrees.

“When you look across the country and see some of the ups and downs in different states, it is clear that New Hampshire did it right with a slow, steady, careful and science-based approach.  It is paying dividends and showing the strength and resiliency of our state’s business community before and during this pandemic.”

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