New Hampshire has the lowest unemployment rate in New England, narrowly edging out Maine–one of the eight US states that reached record-low unemployment in March. And the good news for New England doesn’t end there.
Four of the six New England states had unemployment rates below the national 4.1 percent average. The two outliers are Connecticut (4.8 percent) and Rhode Island (4.3 percent). Massachusetts was at 3.6 percent and Vermont at 3 percent.
The state with the lowest unemployment in the US is Hawaii, which also set a new record low at 2.1 percent.
Not surprisingly, the result of rising employment is upward pressure on wages. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that last month average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 8 cents to $26.82. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 71 cents, or 2.7 percent.