N.H. jobless rate dips again in November

New Hampshire’s unemployment rate inched down a tenth of a percent in November, to 5.2 percent — another sign of the agonizingly languid pace of the economic recovery — according to statistics released Tuesday by the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security.The seasonally adjusted rate is only half a percent lower than the 5.7 percent at which it stood a year ago at this time. The unadjusted rate – 4.9 percent – was the same as it was in October 2011, and it stands at six-tenths of a percentage point lower than it was in November 2010.The unemployment rate still compares favorably with the national rate of 8.6 percent, which in November fell 0.4 percent from a month earlier and 1.2 percent compared to last year.The change in the number of jobs in New Hampshire was also positive, but relatively small: Some 3,050 since last month and 6,590 since last year, increasing the total to just under 708,000.Nonfarm employment figures for November – also released Tuesday – show a slightly larger annual increase of 9,200, though only 400 for the month, for a total of 638,000 jobs. And the growth mainly came in the lower-paying service sector.The biggest annual employment increases were seen in leisure and hospitality services (5,200) — particularly in restaurants (3,900), professional and business services (3,100), retail trade (1,300). And, despite the recent news of hospital layoffs, in health care and social assistance (1,900).However, there were 700 fewer jobs in state government. Wholesale trade lost about 500 jobs and manufacturing lost some 300 positions. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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