New Hampshire Economic Overview
New Hampshire does not collect sales tax on most items sold, nor does it collect income tax at the state or local level other than on interest and dividends. Property taxes in some communities, however, are among the highest in the country.
Year-round tourism is one of the most important industries in this New England state, as tourists are attracted to its skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, hiking in the spring, vacationing in cottages by the coast in the summer, and enjoying the spectacular changing of the foliage of the trees in the fall. In addition, New Hampshire is one of nine alcohol control states that have a monopoly on the sale of alcoholic beverages, from which it makes an annual profit of some $100 million.
The average household income in this state of some 1.2 million residents is $49,467, which ranks New Hampshire seventh among the states in that category. New Hampshire is working on diversifying its $54 billion economy by expanding its film industry and by attracting more high-tech companies.
The first non-native settlers in New Hampshire built homes and fish processing buildings in 1623, three years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. New Hampshire’s economy was historically based on typical New England enterprises, such as textiles, shoemaking, and small factories, and the development of sawmills and shipyards also contributed much to the economy.
As the state became more industrialized, immigrants from nearby Canada found employment. During the First World War and the Great Depression of the 1930s, much manufacturing moved to the South due to cheaper labor costs. After World War II, New Hampshire strengthened its economic and cultural ties with Boston, focusing on providing services and tourism. Today New Hampshire exports about $1 billion worth of computer and electronic products, machinery, electrical equipment, appliances, and components.
Some 4,200 farms operate in New Hampshire with a net income of $935 million, including $554 million in direct sales and $381 million in direct spending by tourists. New Hampshire’s top agricultural producers are greenhouse/nursery products, at $381 million; dairy products, at $53 million; horses, at $50 million; other livestock (beef, sheep, poultry, angora goats and rabbits, llamas, turkey, and fish), at $21 million; and apples, at $8 million. The state’s produce is sold both in the U.S. and in Europe.
BANKING AND FINANCE
New Hampshire is home to 161 banks, which have total assets of more than $6.3 billion and total annual income of around $12 million. The state savings banks and state credit unions hold the most assets, at $3 billion, while state commercial banks and federal banks have $2 billion. This is mirrored in the amount of deposits, as the state savings banks and credit unions receive the most deposits, at $3 billion and $3.1 billion, respectively, followed by the state commercial banks and federal banks, at $1.7 billon and $1.6 billion, respectively.
Around two dozen newspapers are published in New Hampshire, which is also served by five television stations and 166 radio stations. Approximately 750 employees work in radio and television, at a combined annual payroll of $22 million, and bring in total revenues of more than $81 million. More than 4,500 employees work in the $800 million telecommunications industry in New Hampshire at an annual payroll of approximately $188 million. Some 916 telecommunications and wireless companies do business in the state.
Roughly 29,300 people are employed in the construction industry, with 18,800 working for specialty trade contractors, another 7,300 working in the construction of buildings, and 3,100 employed in heavy and civil engineering construction. Construction in New Hampshire contributes $2 billion to the gross state product of $54 billion and provides an annual average salary of around $46,900 to its workers. Approximately 5,000 construction firms do business in the state, most of them employing fewer than 20 workers.
New Hampshire has 205,767 students enrolled in its 483 public elementary and secondary schools. The state spends an average of $10,396 per student (higher than the national average) and has a 13.7:1 student-to-teacher ratio, lower than the national ratio. New Hampshire’s tuition and fees for two-year colleges are double those of most of the rest of the country, and the tuition and fees for four-year colleges and universities are also more expensive than most of the nation.
There are around 58,200 undergraduates enrolled in post-secondary institutions in New Hampshire, with 55 percent being residents of the state. Post-secondary education in the state costs a total of $1.7 billion annually, and tuition covers only 23 percent of this amount. The institutions themselves offer financial aid in the form of 71 percent of tuition—around two percent comes from the state and the rest comes from Pell Grants, other federal programs, and private donations. The University of New Hampshire is the largest university in the state, with more than 15,000 students and an endowment of $231 million.
More than a third of the electricity in New Hampshire (39 percent) is generated by nuclear power. The Seabrook nuclear plant, the largest in New England, operates at 85 percent capacity and generates 9,350 thousand kWh. Natural gas provides 19 percent and coal is at 18 percent, followed in order by petroleum (11 percent), hydroelectric sources (7 percent), and renewable energy (6 percent).
New Hampshire ranks 20th in the nation in its production of electricity from biomass, and is 35th in terms of wind energy potential. The Public Service of New Hampshire is the largest electric company in the state, with more than 490,000 customers, about 1,320 employees, and annual revenues of more than $1 billion annually.
New Hampshire is working to improve its economy by attracting film production companies to the state through a variety of incentives and its natural beauty. The New Hampshire Film and Television Office provides filmmakers with a production package that includes easy access to locations; no sales, personal income, or use taxes; permit-free location filming; and discounted hotel rates.
Location possibilities in New Hampshire range from sea to mountains, city to wilderness, and colonial New England to high-tech modern America. The state’s film industry has a gross operating surplus of some $2 million. The arts, entertainment, and recreation sector has an annual payroll of $2.4 million and revenues of $7.2 million.
Around 586,000 New Hampshire residents have health insurance, paying a total of $2.5 billion in premiums and submitting total claims of $2.26 billion annually. This leaves some 11 percent who are without health insurance. At present, approximately 62 percent of employers offer health coverage to their workers, and approximately three-quarters of employees do take advantage of the offer.
The New Hampshire Insurance Department, which regulates the insurance industry in the state and collects taxes on premiums, employs 80 full-time workers and collects around $94 million in general fund revenues. Despite the state paying only $59 per person on public health, lower than the national average, the United Health Foundation gives New Hampshire a ranking of the third healthiest state in the nation.
New Hampshire has a diverse manufacturing industry, which produces airplane engine parts, hospital supplies, and computers. The sector has 2,750 manufacturers with a total of 86,977 workers. However, it lost around 7,000 jobs during the recent worldwide economic crisis. The largest sector is industrial machinery and equipment, which employs 14,778 workers, followed by electronics manufacturing at 14,051 jobs, and fabricated metals with 7,611 jobs. Manufacturing makes up about 13 percent of the gross state product of $54 billion and provides its workers with an average annual salary of $55,453.
MINING AND EXTRACTION
Although New Hampshire is known as the Granite State, its quarrying is not as extensive as it was in the past. There are about 850 workers employed in New Hampshire’s mining industry at an annual payroll of $40 million and an average wage of $51,000. Mining operations produced some $120 million worth of minerals, metals, and fuels, but when added to the indirect economic output gain, the industry can be considered to contribute nearly $400 million to the state economy. Not counting coal and other fuels, the leading minerals produced in the state are sand and gravel for construction, at $46.6 million, and crushed stone, at $24 million.
Some 9,050 nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations operate in New Hampshire, with total assets of approximately $27 billion. Of these, 4,464 are charitable organizations, 1,224 are educational organizations, 556 are religious organizations, and the rest are anything from welfare organizations to social clubs. The total income reported by the organizations is around $15.4 billion annually. From 1998 to 2008, the number of nonprofit organizations in New Hampshire increased by nearly 35 percent.
The retail industry in New Hampshire employs some 141,600 workers in a total of about 9,100 establishments. Employees of restaurants and bars make up the largest group of workers at 44,000, followed by 20,200 in grocery and liquor stores, and 15,300 in department stores. Total retail sales amount to $32 billion, which is less than one percent of the total retail sales in the country. As in most states, Walmart is a dominant presence in New Hampshire, with 12 supercenters and 15 discount stores. Roughly 8,650 people are employed by Walmart, which pays more than $19.8 million in state and local taxes and gives around $1.5 million in cash and in-kind donations to local organizations annually.
New Hampshire’s high-tech industry employs some 38,500 workers at an average annual salary of $81,300, which is 83 percent higher than the average private sector wage in the state. Some 7 percent of all workers in the private sector are employed in high-tech at an annual combined payroll of $3.1 billion.
The biotechnology sector in New Hampshire is also experiencing a 14 percent growth rate, with some 3,300 jobs at an average wage of $54,922 per year. New Hampshire offers various incentives for bioscience firms, such as research and development tax credits and matching funds for job training. Lonza Biologics and Stryker Biotech have invested $300 million and $100 million, respectively, in expanding their facilities in the state.
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation’s 10-year plan foresees $4 billion in highway and bridge projects, with incoming revenue of around $2.1 billion. There are 25 public airports in the state, with the largest, the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, handling four million passengers and 150 million tons of cargo annually. Manchester-Boston has the reputation of never closing despite New Hampshire’s severe winter weather conditions.
Freight railroads, Amtrak, and the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority contribute to public transportation in the state, and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation encourages commuters to use their free Rideshare program to cut down on traffic, pollution, and transportation costs.
TRAVEL AND TOURISM
Tourism is a very important industry in New Hampshire, which attracts some 33.4 million visitors each year for skiing, hiking, touring historic sites, and relaxing on the beaches. These visitors spend an estimated $4.48 billion, or around $85 per tourist per day. Taxes collected for the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration from tourists’ rooms and meals account for $200 million annually.
Around four percent of New Hampshire’s workforce is employed in the "green" economy. Half of these jobs (8,400) are in smart technology; 4,300 (25 percent) are in energy efficiency; 3,300 (20 percent) of employees work in environmental services; 600 jobs are in green transportation; and 200 jobs are in renewable energy. The average wage for these jobs is approximately $57,000 per year. By 2007, 465 businesses had generated more than 4,000 jobs in New Hampshire’s clean energy economy, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Venture capitalists are reportedly investing nearly $67 million in New Hampshire’s clean energy businesses.
-World Trade Press