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Frequently Asked Questions


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1. What is the legal minimum wage in New Hampshire?
Per RSA 279:21 the minimum hourly wage in New Hampshire became $7.25 on and after September 1, 2008. For more information, contact the NH Department of Labor at (603) 271-3176 or 1-800-272-4353 (ask for the Wage and Hour Division).

2. My employer says they cannot afford to pay minimum wage. Is that legal?
Generally no, but there are a few exceptions to the established minimum wage. Tipped employees must receive 45 percent of the applicable minimum wage. Employees engaged in household labor, domestic labor, farm labor; outside sales representatives; employees of summer camps for minors; newspaper carriers, non-professional ski patrol, and golf caddies are exempt. Those 16 years of age or younger shall receive not less than 75 percent of the applicable minimum wage. For other exemptions, contact the NH Department of Labor at (603) 271-3176 or 1-800-272-4353 (ask for the Wage and Hour Division).

3. How much do other people who are in my line of work make?
The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program surveys New Hampshire employers, and prepares an annual report of wages paid for roughly 600 different occupations. Data are available by occupation for multiple regions of New Hampshire.

4. How do I find out what other companies pay their employees?
Under the provisions of federal law, data on individual firms gathered for statistical purposes through state-federal cooperative programs cannot be made public by ELMI. The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program publishes aggregated hourly and annual wage data by occupation for regions of New Hampshire; the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program publishes aggregated average weekly wage data by industry for regions of New Hampshire.


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5. What is the average wage for Workers' Compensation?
The average weekly wage for Workers’ Compensation purposes is adjusted annually. For more information, contact the NH Department of Labor at (603) 271-3176 or 1-800-272-4353.

6. What is the "cost of living" increase or "rate of inflation?"
The “rate of inflation” is an economic measure of the buying power of the U.S. dollar; as inflation increases, the amount a dollar can buy decreases. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. Data are released monthly, with over-the-month and over-the-year comparisons. While the CPI is not a true cost-of-living measure, businesses may use the CPI to determine cost-of-living raises, and cost-of-living adjustments for many federal programs are tied to this index. The BLS provides a CPI Inflation Calculator that compares the changes in the prices of all goods and services purchased for consumption by urban households over time.

7. What is the average income for people living in my city or town?
At the city or town level, per capita income data are available from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). Income data can be found in GraniteStats, New Hampshire's Workforce Information Data System, and the New Hampshire Community Profiles include per capita, median family, and median household income, for residents of cities and towns in New Hampshire.

8. How many people in New Hampshire are considered poor?
Data on poverty status in the last 12 months for individuals or families are available from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and is accessible at data.census.gov. (Tables S1701, S1702, and S1703 for the desired geographic areas include poverty status.) The New Hampshire Community Profiles include the percentage of persons below the poverty level for residents of cities and towns in New Hampshire.

9. How many businesses are there in New Hampshire? How many people do they employ?
The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program compiles statistics on employing business units and employment from the quarterly reports provided by New Hampshire employers. Data on employment and average weekly wages are aggregated by industry and geographic area. ELMIB is prohibited releasing these data for individual employers.

10. What are the largest companies in New Hampshire?
Information on individual firms is available in GraniteStats, New Hampshire's Workforce Information Data System. In addition, the NH Community Profiles include information on the largest companies, as provided by each community. All other identifying information on individual employers collected by NH Employment Security must be held confidential, as required by law.

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11. What companies are hiring?
NH Employment Security's Job Match System and NH Jobs provide search options for available jobs; as well as other Job Seeker opportunities.

12. How many people in New Hampshire are employed? Unemployed? What is the unemployment rate?
Every month, the Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau releases Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) with the number of New Hampshire residents who are employed and unemployed, the civilian labor force, and the unemployment rate. The report includes not seasonally adjusted data for the state, counties, labor market areas, and select cities and towns. The U.S. rate, the rates of the other New England states, and the New Hampshire seasonally adjusted rate are also provided.

13. Who is considered part of the labor force?
The labor force includes all persons 16 years of age and over who are employed, or unemployed and actively seeking employment. Those involved in a labor-management dispute are also included. The "civilian labor force" excludes members of the armed forces and the institutionalized population. Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

14. Who is considered unemployed?
Unemployed persons are those who are not employed but are actively seeking work. Those who are waiting to be called back from a layoff or are waiting to report to a new job within 30 days are included in the measure of unemployed. Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

15. How does New Hampshire's unemployment rate compare to other states?
Every month, a ranking of state unemployment rates, both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted, is posted on the ELMI web site, along with a comparison map of unemployment rates by state. Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

16. How many people in New Hampshire work part time? How many in my city or town?
Data on work status, including usual hours worked per week, are available from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. (See Table S2303, Work Status in the Past 12 Months, for desired geographic areas.)

17. What's the difference between non-farm employment and labor force employment?
The Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, based on a survey of business establishments, produces data on nonfarm employment each month representing estimated jobs by place of work. Labor force employment is based on the Current Population Survey (CPS), a household survey, and represents employed persons by place of residence. A person with two jobs is counted as one worker in the labor force estimates (a count of working persons, not jobs), but twice in the CES survey (once for each job held). Similarly, a person who resides in New Hampshire but commutes to work in another state is not counted in New Hampshire CES employment (the workplace is in another state), but is counted in the New Hampshire labor force employment (as a working resident of New Hampshire).


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18. Where do people who live near me commute to work? Where do people who work in my area live?
Commuting pattern data, referred to as journey to work, is a source of commuting data based on the American Community Survey 5-year estimates. These data are available in GraniteStats for all of New Hampshire, as well as counties, labor market areas, planning regions, and cities/towns.

In addition to commuting data, the U.S. Census Bureau’s OnTheMap application is an online mapping and reporting application showing where workers who live in a specific place are employed and where people working in a specific place reside. The application includes companion reports on worker and industry characteristics.

19. Where do I find information on prevailing wages for foreign labor certification?
Contact New Hampshire Employment Security’s Foreign Labor Certification Program at foreigncert@nhes.nh.gov, or visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, Foreign Labor Certification web site.

20. Where do I find information on prevailing wages for construction workers involved in government projects?
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, provides guidance on prevailing wage rates to be paid for federally-funded or assisted construction projects covered by the Davis-Bacon Act. The U.S. General Services Administration has developed the System for Award Management (SAM), an online tool for obtaining appropriate Service Contract Act (SCA) and Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) wage determinations (WDs) for each official contract action.

21. I need to complete an Affirmative Action Plan. Where can I find the information I need for this report?
A variety of data tables have been compiled to assist in preparation of Affirmative Action plans and determining EEO compliance. Data are available on the ELMI website.

22. Where do I get copies of the workers' rights posters that must be displayed at my place of business?
For copies of mandatory state and federal posters, visit the NH Department of Labor’s web site or call 1-800-272-4353.

23. Where do I find information about employment discrimination?
Discrimination issues are handled by the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights as mandated by NH RSA 354-A.The Commission may be contacted at (603) 271-2767. For further information, contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission toll free at 1-800-669-4000 (TDD 1-800-669-6820).


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24. Who do I call for information about Workers Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation issues are handled by the NH Department of Labor. The Workers' Compensation Division may be contacted at (603) 271-3176 or 1-800-272-4353.

25. Where do I find information about workers' rights in New Hampshire?
Title XXIII-Labor of NH law governs labor relations in New Hampshire.

26. Where can I find information about careers and future jobs in New Hampshire?
ELMI's Career Resources section provides a variety of career planning resources and tools, using New Hampshire-specific data such as employment projections, occupational wages, entry-level education for occupations, interest inventory tools, information on educational choices after high school, top career prospects, and more.

27. Where can I find information about education or training?
For information on education or training programs, visit NSCITE, which allows you to search for training by program name or school. The programs in NSCITE prepare students for high demand occupations in New Hampshire. In addition, GraniteStats, New Hampshire's Workforce Information Data System includes information on educational institutions located in New Hampshire and the programs they offer, including career and technical education and postsecondary institutions.

28. I need help paying for school. What resources do you have?
NSCITE has a searchable database of educational and training programs leading to high demand occupations. Educational institutions included in NSCITE are Eligible Training Providers under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Students attending these programs may qualify for WIOA funding to support their attendance. Information on educational planning and paying for college, including federal financial aid and scholarships, is available from the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF). In addition, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation offers a variety of different scholarships, including the Medallion Fund, which provides educational assistance for students training in the trades, or pursuing certifications in emerging technical sectors and other high-growth occupations in demand.

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New Hampshire Employment Security (NHES)
45 South Fruit Street  |  Concord NH 03301  |  603-224-3311  |  1-800-852-3400
TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964