New Hampshire’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.3% in February from 5.8% in January. This drop represents 290 fewer unemployed persons in the state, leaving 43,000 total people unemployed.
At the same time however, the total labor force shrank by 660. This decline in the labor force actually accounts for a larger percentage of the fall in the unemployment rate, than the decline in unemployed persons does. In other words, while the unemployment rate did go down, most of the drop was not because of increased employment.
In comparison to February of 2012, there are 3570 more unemployed people but the workforce has also grown by 3110.
State wide 1,400 nonfarm jobs were added in February. The sectors seeing the biggest gains were Profession and Business Services (+700), Education and Health Services (+900) and State Government (+600)
Sectors seeing the largest losses were Retail Trade (-1,200), Accommodation and Food Services (-600) and Wholesale Trade (-400).
Turning to the cities, Manchester lost 200 jobs, Nashua gained 100, Portsmouth lost 900 and Rochester-Dover gained 300. Despite some short-term losses, each city has shown growth over the past year.