Sununu: New Hampshire employment hits all-time high

NASHUA – More Granite Staters are working – 735,540 – than at any other point in New Hampshire history, according to Gov. Chris Sununu.

“I am proud that through our pro-growth initiatives, more people are working in New Hampshire today than at any other point in history,” Sununu said in a statement. “A strong, thriving workforce is necessary for our broader goals to boost economic development and I look forward to continuing our work to again be the jobs engine throughout the region.”

Figures the state Employment Security Office released Tuesday show New Hampshire’s unemployment rate for June was 2.7 percent, lower than the 4 percent national average. Sununu links the solid job figures to a business tax cut passed in the last biennial budget, as well as efforts to cut regulation on businesses.

“It is our obligation to ensure a favorable economic climate for all Granite State businesses, and today’s news is further proof that New Hampshire has the fastest growing economy in New England,” Sununu, a Republican, said Tuesday.

State Rep. Richard Hinch, R-Merrimack, the House majority leader, credits Sununu and the state GOP for economic prosperity.

“Let’s face it, businesses are making investments and hiring more workers here because they have faith that the governor and the legislature will continue to produce sound policy with regard to taxes, regulation, education, infrastructure, and health,” Hinch said in a statement.

However, Molly Kelly, the Democrat running against Steve Marchand in the party’s gubernatorial primary, said Sununu’s efforts are hurting working-class Granite Staters more than helping, contributing to a prosperity growing gap.

“Because Sununu gave tax breaks to the wealthiest corporations, the divide between corporate profits and workers’ wages is only growing,” Kelly said.

Kelly said she will repeal these tax breaks when elected. She also plans to hike the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, enact paid family and medical leave, as well as other initiatives.

Kelly’s primary opponent, Marchand, said Sununu is ignoring the real problem facing New Hampshire, the state’s aging population.

“(Sununu) is doing nothing to address the biggest challenge we face for the future of our state’s prosperity – the need to get younger and reverse the decline in entrepreneurship,” Marchand said.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or or @Telegraph_DF.