NH Labor Group Hosts ‘No Jobs Fair’

By Lauren Leamanczyk, WBZ-TV's New Hampshire Bureau Chief

CONCORD, NH (CBS) — New Hampshire is faring much better than a lot of other states when it comes to unemployment numbers. The state’s 4.9 percent unemployment late is just more than half the 9.1 percent national jobless rate. But it’s still a tough environment for the 36,000 people in the state who are out of work.

They say they’re having no luck submitting applications at job fairs. So Wednesday, right in front of the state house, they held the “no jobs fair,” filling out applications to deliver to lawmakers in protest.

WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk reports

Keith McCrea lost his communications job in May. He says when the state lays off workers, it adds more competition and less opportunity for him.

“Every one of those jobs that goes away is money that isn’t working its way into the private sector and hiring people like me,” he said.

The AFL-CIO organized the protest. They admit New Hampshire’s jobs numbers look better than other states. But, they’re angry at state cuts that resulted in hundreds of layoffs.

“I haven’t seen one good job developed that Speaker O’Brien can put his name to,” said Mark MacKenzie, president of the organized labor group.

House Speaker William O’Brien was out of state at a conference, but his policy director emphasized New Hampshire’s comparatively good job numbers.

“If having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation is something people don’t want then I suggest they maybe move to Rhode Island,” Greg Moore said.

Moore agrees there are still too many unemployed people in the state. But, he says they are making progress with proposals that make the state more favorable to business.

“We have seen some losses in the taxpayer funded government sector but we have seen a number of significant increases in the private sector,” he said.

For workers like Keith, that progress needs to come sooner rather than later.

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