There’s some slightly better news coming out of last week’s New Hampshire unemployment report as joblessness continues to fall, but that decline has slowed to a crawl.
Some 1,819 Granite Staters lost their jobs in New Hampshire during the week ending Nov. 14, 100 fewer than the U.S. Department of Labor reported the week before.
Continuing claims continue to inch down as well. with 22,227 people still collecting benefits for the week ending Nov. 7. That’s 899 fewer than the number reported the previous week and 1,220 compared to the revised number rate.
With each decline in continuing claims, the state is moving closer to the number — about 20,000 — who were unemployed during the pre-pandemic economy. But each step in that direction seems to be smaller. Even compared against the revised rate, the Nov. 7 numbers represent a 5.2 percent improvement. The previous week it was 7.5 percent and the two weeks before that it was over 7.7 percent.
Monthly figures — which include survey data, not just unemployment claims, but is more out of date — paint the same picture. The October unemployment rate was 4.2 percent, down 1.6 percent from September, which would normally be a big drop, but like September’s decrease it was much slower than the previously monthly plummets from the 17 percent-plus peak in April. It’s also higher than the 2.6 percent rate recorded last October.
For those who still can’t find a job, it has now been 10 weeks since the federal unemployment benefits enhancement of $300 a week ended. And for those who started collecting benefits in March, all unemployment benefits will cease in six weeks unless there is a new deal cut between a lame-duck Congress and president, which seems increasingly unlikely.