CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) and House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) offered the following statements in response to news by the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security that the state unemployment rate dropped from 5.2% in March to 5% in April. The data showed that the number of employed residents increased by 10 to 704,610, while the number of unemployed residents dropped by 1,380 to 37,030. Overall, the labor force dropped by 1,370.
House Speaker William O’Brien
“While it’s great news that the unemployment rate dropped in New Hampshire, it’s concerning that we were unable to continue to buck the national trend and that the state saw our labor force shrink. The fact that we are adding new jobs remains encouraging, but we need to do more to take steps to get the 37,000 of our friends and neighbors who are unemployed back to work and to strengthen our economy so that more people move back into the workforce. To do that, we need to pass a Right to Work law in New Hampshire and to lower what is the 5th highest business taxes in the nation. We’ve made huge steps this year to get our economy back on track, but there is more to do.”
House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt
“Historically, a 5% unemployment rate is the benchmark for a strong economy. The fact that we have seen the unemployment rate drop almost a full point from when Republicans took over control of the legislature is testament to the huge strides we’ve made to undo the damage done by the Democrats, who passed over 100 new or increased taxes and fees in the four years they ran state government. The reality is that over 10,000 more New Hampshire residents are working and there are nearly 6,000 fewer unemployed under Republican leadership. There is still a lot more work to do, but this legislature has our state headed in the right direction.”