New England To See Modest
Economic Growth, With New Hampshire Leading Six-State Region Through
UNH Professor Releases New England
Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
Nov. 10, 2004
DURHAM, N.H. – The New England region will see modest overall
economic growth and continued slow employment recovery from the
early 2000s recession through 2008, with education and health services,
leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services
forecasted to be the fastest growing sectors in the region, according
to Ross Gittell, professor of management at the University of New
Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics, who released
the New England Economic Outlook today.
New Hampshire will lead the region in job creation and overall economic
growth, according to the economic analysis. The analysis was presented
today at the fall conference of the New England Economic Partnership
in Westborough, Mass. Gittell is the organization’s vice president
and forecast manager.
“New Hampshire (at 2 percent per annum) is the only state
in the region expected to have employment growth above the U.S.
average over the forecast period. Employment growth in Connecticut
and Massachusetts are expected to be well below the U.S. average.
Both states are expected to have average annual growth in employment
below 1 percent,” according to Gittell’s analysis.
In addition, New Hampshire and Connecticut are expected to be the
only New England states with overall economic growth above the U.S.
average, averaging 4 and 3.8 percent growth per year respectively.
Maine and Vermont are expected to have the lowest overall growth
of approximately 3 percent per year.
Unemployment in the region is expected to be about .5 percent point
below the U.S. average and average 4.7 percent (2003 to 2008). New
Hampshire and Vermont are expected to have the lowest unemployment
rates in the region (averaging 3.3 and 3.5 percent respectively).
Rhode Island and Massachusetts (both 5.2 percent) are expected to
have the highest unemployment rates, but both states are expected
to have unemployment rates below the U.S. average.
The high technology sector was the highlight of the New England
Economic Outlook and conference. Massachusetts is the leader in
the region as it is home to 60 percent of total high technology
employment in the region (compared to below 50 percent of total
employment). The Bay State consistently ranks first or second highest
in 50-state high technology ratings and is the only state in the
region with above the regional average employment concentration
in high technology (7.5 percent).
“High technology is an important industry in New England and
the region has a long and strong history in technology-based industries.
To keep high technology industries strong in the region will require
focusing economic development efforts on this key sector. This should
include building on the existing technology industry base and technology
industry assets such as university research and development infrastructure,”
according to Gittell’s analysis. “It will also require
addressing weaknesses, such as the declining manufacturing base
and shortages of skilled workers in key fields (as occurred during
the 1990s technology boom period). Some efforts should be focused
on current industries with the most favorable long-term growth prospects,
such as computer system design, software development and Internet
and related systems development and services. Other initiatives
should focus on seeding new industries by leveraging relationships
between universities and private companies.”
In other sectors, manufacturing employment is expected to continue
to decline, but at a significantly slower pace than in the early
2000s. High technology and information industries are expected to
recover but only modestly from the late-1990s to early-2000s decline.
Growth rates in these industries are expected to average 1.2 and
1 percent respectively. Trade, transportation and utilities is expected
to grow at the same rate as total employment in the region, or approximately
1 percent per year.
To download the full New England Economic Outlook, visit http://www.unh.edu/news/docs/neeconoutlook_fall04.pdf.