Navigating Today’s Economy: Spring 2024 Economic Forecast


hroughout the Greater Manchester Chamber’s recent virtual Economic Forecast, Brian Gottlob, a renowned economist with deep insights into the New Hampshire economy, shared valuable perspectives on the current state of the economy in Manchester, NH and beyond. Covering a wide range of topics from housing to workforce development and climate considerations, the discussion shed light on key aspects influencing the economic landscape of the city and the broader region. Gottlob is the Director of the NH Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau.

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Read on for a summary of the GMC’s Economic Forecast with economist Brian Gottlob.

Housing Dynamics: Balancing Supply & Demand

Gottlob highlighted the critical role of housing in shaping demographic trends and economic growth. Despite Manchester’s relatively lower vacancy rates compared to other areas, the city is facing challenges in attracting and retaining a younger demographic. With an emphasis on the need for multifamily housing construction, Gottlob underscored the importance of addressing the rental housing shortage to accommodate the evolving needs of Manchester’s workforce.

Workforce Development: Partnering for Success

As industries like regenerative medicine and biofabrication gain traction in the region, the discussion turned to workforce development strategies. Gottlob emphasized the importance of partnerships between employers and educational institutions, particularly community colleges, in training and preparing the workforce for emerging industries. Initiatives like the Elevate New Hampshire program, offering student loan repayment incentives, demonstrate innovative approaches to talent retention and attraction.

Sector Spotlight: From Manufacturing to Professional Services

Reflecting on the diverse economic landscape of Manchester, Gottlob highlighted the resilience of sectors like manufacturing, particularly in biofabrication and medical devices. Professional, technical, and scientific services have also experienced notable growth, driven by factors like innovation and demographic shifts. However, challenges persist in industries like hospitality, where labor shortages hinder recovery efforts.

Climate Considerations: Positioning for the Future

Acknowledging the growing significance of climate change in economic discourse, Gottlob stressed the need for proactive measures to mitigate environmental impacts and capitalize on renewable energy opportunities. While New Hampshire has made strides in areas like wind turbine manufacturing, there remains room for improvement in fostering a more sustainable and climate-resilient economy.

Looking Ahead: Opportunities & Challenges

Despite uncertainties surrounding economic forecasts, Brian expressed cautious optimism about Manchester’s economic outlook. While acknowledging potential risks such as global supply chain disruptions and oil price spikes, he underscored the city’s resilience and potential for growth. Emphasizing the importance of policy interventions like carbon taxes, Gottlob highlighted the role of informed decision-making in shaping Manchester’s future trajectory.

Charting a Course for Economic Prosperity

As Manchester navigates the complexities of today’s economy, insights from discussions like these provide valuable guidance for policymakers, business leaders, and residents alike. By addressing housing shortages, investing in workforce development, and embracing sustainable practices, Manchester can position itself as a vibrant hub of innovation and opportunity in the years to come.

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