Nashua's Economy at a Glance
Nashua's economy has proven to be highly resilient. Our community was less affected by the 2008 downturn than other communities, and our median household income is higher than the New Hampshire average.Similarly, our unemployment rates are much lower than the national average. Despite this, Nashua faces a challenge: how can we keep our city affordable when housing costs are rising faster than our wages?
Read on to learn about our changing economy and the projects we're implementing to improve it.
Much of this data comes from the 2018 Economic Situation Analysis, available here.
Other data is taken from the 2017 American Community Survey, available through the U.S. Census, or from recent internal studies.
Improving, with Caveats
The unemployment rate is one way to measure the economic health of a community. When people do not have jobs, they spend less, which impacts other people’s jobs and the entire US economy. Nashua's unemployment rate has been declining, and remains below the New Hampshire average. However, not all jobs bring the same benefits to workers and to ensure we are building a thriving economy that supports our residents.
Rental Housing Costs
Rising Rental Costs
Ensuring that people can comfortably afford to live in our city is a very important aspect of creating a Livable Nashua. This means finding ways to keep average household income in line with rising rental costs. This chart shows the average rent and utilities costs of a 2-bedroom apartment in Nashua.
Rental Housing Costs
Rent Paid as a Percentage of Income
Between 2013 and 2017, the percentage of median household income had to be spent on rent remained consistently below the national average. The housing costs associated with a 2-bedroom apartment, however, have been growing more rapidly than median rents overall.
Improving the Quality of Jobs
Although unemployment has been declining in Nashua, many new jobs are low-paying positions, particularly in the arts and the medical industry. To better support these sectors and attract higher-paying jobs, the city of Nashua is working to promote entrepreneurship, increase access to training, and incubate arts and technology businesses.
In order to promote the creation of new, job-creating businesses and reduce rental prices, the city of Nashua is planning to further develop the Millyard District into a mixed-use zone through residential infill and repurposing existing buildings into affordable office, commercial and light industrial spaces. The Millyard is a prime example of how a single project can catalyze new economic activity and the city is now working to improve the connections between the Millyard District and the existing Downtown to spur even more multiplier effects.
See the city’s plans for the Millyard District in the Economic Development Plan.
See an award-winning example of how to transform an industrial area into a small business hub.