ECONOMY

Population Growth Is Important For NH's Economy

The Carsey School of Public Policy recently presented to the NH House Ways and Means Committee focusing on NH’s population and the implications for our state.

They said that population growth in New Hampshire is slower than in the past, but recent data shows renewed domestic migration (people from other parts of the U.S.) gains here.

Demographic change is uneven across New Hampshire, and migration patterns are a concern because it is an important source of human capital. Migration brings families and children to a state that needs young people, migrants are well educated and they bring income and expertise to the state.

Some towns need to plan to cope with growth and expansion while other communities struggle to provide basic services to declining populations.

New Hampshire’s population is aging rapidly and diversity is growing but the state remains largely non-Hispanic white.

One may conclude there are far reaching implications for the state budget and that lawmakers need to understand these demographic changes in order to develop plans for education funding at all levels, and how that funding can serve to develop a qualified workforce to meet today’s jobs market.

NH’s economy is the fastest growing east of the Mississippi, but new employers will be reluctant to move or expand here without a large labor force, and right now our unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the United States. Businesses that want to expand or re-locate look for areas with a qualified, available workforce.

Attracting educated people who want to raise a family in New Hampshire is becoming an important economic development factor, and one that should be considered by every legislator and town planning department. Working with industry to develop a workforce for the next few years should be a top priority.

If you have more interest in these topics I recommend that you go to www.gencourt.state.nh.us click on House Committees and click on Standing Committees on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down for Ways and Means, click on the link. This will take you to a listing of reports where you’ll then click on the 2018 Joint Economic Updates; it’s at the top of the list.