New Hampshire's economy will experience slow growth in 2013, an economic expert told Exeter-area business leaders this week.
Ross Gittell, of the New England Economic Partnership, said a positive sign for the state's economy is an improved housing market where home values are continuing to rise. Job growth, however, will remain stagnant—partly because there's a lack of education opportunities for students in growing areas like advanced manufacturing, Gittell said.
"It's an issue we need to work on," said Gittell, who serves as chancellor of the state's community college system.
The crowd of about 70 local leaders in business, government, and nonprofits agreed with Gittell's forecast, as only a handful said they expected 2013 to be markedly better than last year.
Gittell delivered his forecast at the Exeter Inn Tuesday; the event was hosted by the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce.
New Hampshire's unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, it was 7.8 percent.
Gittell said New Hampshire's unemployment rate will hover around 5 percent until 2014, at which point it could improve for 2015—the time he said the state's economy could return to pre-recession levels.