Industrial Diversity Propels New England Growth

This U.S. region is exhibiting notable employment growth across a variety of industry sectors.

By Donna Clapp
From the September / October 2023 Issue

New England boasts a unique blend of traditional, reliable professions (such as those in education and healthcare) as well as dynamic, forward-thinking fields like technology and finance. The New England workforce and industry exhibits versatility, catering to a wide spectrum of occupations, ranging from various educational backgrounds and in every socio-economic strata. This diversity in jobs spans urban and rural environments, encapsulating everything in between. The New England region—consisting of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont—in the northeast corner of the United States, stands out for its exceptional industry diversity.

The New England region—consisting of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont—in the northeast corner of the United States, stands out for its exceptional industry diversity.

In recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, the New England region exhibited notable employment growth in May 2023, adding 11,600 jobs within that month. While job growth in the leisure and hospitality sector is still recovering from the pandemic, it is important to note that its job growth over the past year has helped drive overall employment growth.

Employment growth across sectors in New England displayed distinct patterns. The professional and business services sector exhibited the most substantial job growth since the pandemic’s onset, boasting a 7.5% increase, followed by the construction and information sectors with growth rates of 5.2% and 1.3%, respectively. However, over the past year, the education and health services sector took the lead in job growth in the region, followed by professional and business services and leisure and hospitality.

Manufacturing, in particular, maintains its vital presence in New England. The region boasts a rich manufacturing heritage, with companies excelling in diverse product sectors, spanning from textiles to electronics. Additionally, emerging high-tech domains like regenerative and biomanufacturing are firmly establishing themselves within the region’s economic landscape. There’s a positive trend of younger workers relocating to this region, which presents a promising opportunity.

Claremont, New Hampshire: Housing Manufacturing Is Big Business

Looking for a top-notch housing manufacturing business? Look no further than Claremont, NH. Both Preferred Building Systems (PBS) and WHS Homes are based in this New Hampshire community.

Preferred Building Systems is a division of LaValley Building Supply, the largest independently owned building materials supplier in New Hampshire and Vermont. PBS strives to be the top-quality, low-cost provider of building materials and services.

New England
Claremont, New Hampshire is home to thriving manufacturing and technology businesses. (Photo: Darel Limoges)


Preferred Building Systems (PBS) began in 2006 with the idea of delivering a better product through a more efficient delivery method of construction. They have a holistic approach to building as they believe that a home should not just be focused on how beautiful the kitchen and bath can be, but the importance of what is behind the walls and how the home will perform.

General Manager Randy Williams explained that PBS specializes in “energy efficient, fully customizable homes. We built the first passive modular house in the country in Charlotte, VT. That workmanship goes into every house.”

The history WHS Homes, Inc.’s’ history dates back to 1963. WHS Homes specializes in the design and manufacturing of custom log, timber frame and post and beam homes. Their family of brands includes Real Log Homes, Timberpeg, American Post & Beam, and Davis Frame Co. (all based in Claremont, NH) and Jamaica Cottage Shop based in South Londonderry, VT.

Both PBS and WHS experienced major growth during the pandemic as more people were leaving cities and in need of new housing. Post-pandemic, business is still very strong though now they are seeing changes due to the rising interest rates.

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With costs rising, many housing customers as well as investors are choosing to build multifamily, duplexes, triplexes, and quads. Randy Williams explained, “We can work with people to configure their house to save money.”

WHS Homes owner Bill Silverstein agreed, “There’s a distinct change in the marketplace, but we’re still very busy.” Post-pandemic there has been a “slowdown in leads coming in, but the quality of the leads is still very high.”

Claremont has emerged as an important center of commerce. Building on its historic architecture, contemporary adaptive reuse is re-energizing the City Center. Outside of town, in the industrial land surrounding the Connecticut River, Claremont is home to fine home and cabinetry manufacturing, precision technology and many other businesses. Abundant developable land, strong transportation and broadband networks and exceptional infrastructure capacity make Claremont a true land of opportunity for companies looking to locate or expand in New England.

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