March new hires rise 17% in N.H.

New Hampshire’s employers added more than 2,300 new workers in March than they did in February, but the hiring rate is still far behind the pace of last year.The New Hampshire Department of Economic Security reported that state employers added 16,023 newly hired workers in March, an increase of 16.8 percent from February’s 13,719 new workers. But the total is still nearly 20 percent below the 20,022 new employees added in March 2010, and is several thousand fewer reported than virtually any month last year.Despite the slow pace, New Hampshire’s unemployment rate continues to drop and remains one of the lowest in the country – 5.4 percent in February as compared to the nation’s 8.9 percent in February.New Hampshire unemployment figures for March are expected to be released April 12. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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