2010 compensation a mixed picture in N.H.

Total employment compensation in New Hampshire increased by 1.8 percent in 2010, but it didn’t increase in all of the state’s 10 counties, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.Two New Hampshire counties saw a decrease in their total compensation in 2010. Belknap experienced the largest dip, with a 1.3 percent decrease, followed by Cheshire, with a 0.2 percent dip.Those figures were released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, which defines total compensation as the sum of wage and salary disbursements.New Hampshire’s growth fell behind the national average of 2.7 percent, but kept pace with inflation, which also increased by 1.8 percent.In 2010, four New Hampshire counties saw compensation increases that were above the state average.Experiencing the biggest jump was Rockingham, at 3.5 percent, followed by Carroll at 3.1 percent, Grafton at 2.8 percent and Strafford at 2.7 percent.Falling just below the state average were Merrimack County, where total compensation grew by 1.7 percent, and Sullivan County, where it grew by 1.6 percent.Hillsborough, the state’s largest county, experienced a 0.8 percent compensation growth in 2010, just slightly below Coos, where compensation grew 0.9 percent.In New England, compensation increased in 53 of 67 counties in 2010. Grand Isle County, Vt., had the highest growth in the region, at 11.5 percent, while Middlesex County, Conn. had the biggest decrease, 7 percent. All told, the New England region accounted for 6 percent of total compensation in the United States in 2010.The data also included compensation growth by industry.In 2010, compensation in New Hampshire increased in retail, manufacturing – particularly machinery manufacturing — finance and insurance, health care and hospitality. Industries where compensation decreased included utilities, construction and information services, including publishing and telecommunications. — KATHLEEN CALLAHAN/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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