It’s understandable that the “bubble” states—California, Nevada, and Florida—all have high unemployment. And of course the domestic auto industry’s troubles are clearly having a major impact on states like Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.
But the Southeast has also been hit hard. North and South Carolina and Georgia all have above-average unemployment levels. It could be that cyclical manufacturers located in the heart of Dixie are suffering collateral damage from the automaker’s crisis.
Equally interesting are the success stories—states where unemployment is well below the national average. The Great Plains are doing pretty well. Agriculture is still strong. But New Hampshire is tied for the fifth lowest unemployment rate in the country. New Hampshire’s jobless rate of 4.3% stands in stark contrast to Rhode Island’s 9.3%
The distinctive features that make New Hampshire resilient in the face of a significant national recession—a balanced economy, strong educational infrastructure, and a low tax burden—are worth noting. As we face budget troubles like every other state, let’s not kill the goose that lays our golden eggs.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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