The newly formed NH House Ways and Means Committee is spending its days in Concord gathering information about the state of the economy and what we can expect in the next two years.
• The NH economy is at virtual full employment, and the third lowest employment rate in the country.
• NH is reasserting itself as top performer in an otherwise slow growing Northeast.
• Employment growth is at the highest level since the great recession.
• Wages and personal incomes are rising, after an extended period of little increase and post great recession
• Strengths can be found in certain industry sectors including leisure/hospitality and high value-added manufacturing.
• There is a strong link of higher education to economic outcomes and needs.
• Many economists predict lower growth and some say there will be a US recession in the next 12 months.
In a separate presentation, the importance of a highly educated populace was underscored by an independent research firm that said the most valuable economic resource in the 21st century is people, and more specifically brains. Skilled, well-educated people have the most economic opportunities and are the most mobile member of society. Where they locate, robust economic activity will follow.
Throughout these presentations it was made clear that the high cost and relative lack of affordable housing in NH affects how well NH can attract younger families and people beginning their careers. In other words, the cost of buying a home in NH is high and prices many people out of the market.
This is just a sample of the information that we heard and will use to help us make revenue estimates that the state will rely upon.