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NH undergoes ‘transportation boom’

New Hampshire Union Leader

February 02. 2016 7:55PM

Excel Vice President of Operations Greg Foreman gives a tour of the New Hampshire State Liquor Commission Distribution Center in Bow in 2013. A report due to be released Wednesday says New Hampshire’s warehousing sector grew nearly 9 percent between November 2014 and November 2015. (UNION LEADER FILE)

MANCHESTER — New Hampshire features one of the nation’s “tightest labor markets” and has undergone a “transportation boom” with about 1,200 transportation and warehousing jobs added over a year’s time, according to a new report due out Wednesday.

“But the Granite State’s transportation boom is not just creating opportunities for drivers,” said Guy Berger, an economist for LinkedIn, a professional networking website.

“As a breakdown of LinkedIn membership within the industry suggests, the industry has a wide range of occupations — salespeople and administrative employees are just two examples,” Berger said in his report.

The state’s transportation and warehousing sector grew by 8.9 percent between November 2014 and November 2015 compared to 2.2 percent nationally, according to the report.

The report’s release was timed just before next week’s presidential primary and follows a similar one unveiled last month before the Iowa caucuses.

The report notes that New Hampshire’s unemployment rate in December ranked as the nation’s fourth lowest (at 3.1 percent), and its wage growth came in as 10th highest (at 3.8 percent year-over-year).

“Job growth has been fairly slow — at 0.8 percent year-over-year, less than half the national rate — but this sluggishness may simply reflect a shortage of potential workers,” Berger wrote in the report.

Another potential drag on job hiring might be blamed on New Hampshire having the third oldest population, with its median age of 42.5 years coming in nearly five years above the national average, he said.

New Hampshire also ranked 45th best at retaining college graduates.

Anita Josten, a research analyst at the state’s Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau, said she thinks employers are “expecting more” from potential new hires and take longer to fill positions.

She said some employees may have done well at their previous companies, but potential new companies are reluctant to accept their skillsets as sufficient today.

Josten also wondered whether lower gas prices were putting more trucks on the roads.


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