After battling year after year of a fluctuating economy, New Hampshire is seeing a great divide develop between the Northern and Southern regions of the state. While the Southern region is able to survive off of more job and economic opportunities due to its proximity to major cities, highways and populace, the Northern region is facing obstacles due to a slow decline in some of its major industries such as agriculture, tourism and milling.
Dan Lee, an Associate Professor of Economics at Plymouth State who is affiliated with the Center for Rural Partnerships, wanted to further study these changes and their impact on the economy of the North Country. With support from the Neil and Louse Tillotson fund of the NH Charitable Foundation, the College of Business Administration, and others at the state and institutional level, he created the North Country Economic Index (NCEI), a quarterly report detailing the economic conditions of New Hampshire’s North Country.
The mission of the NCEI is to bring a voice to the North Country by providing accurate statistical information specific to Coos, Carroll and Grafton Counties. Most economic indexes generalize an entire state, while overlooking nuanced regional information and variables that may help to better explain a region’s economic situation. The NCEI focuses on four major areas of study: manufacturing and trade sales, housing, production, and employment.
The data and analysis provided each quarter will help policy makers, community leaders, non-‐profit managers, and government officials make well-‐rounded decisions benefitting both their communities and the economy of New Hampshire as a whole.