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Best Employers and Jobs in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Updated on March 17, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish is a successful employment & training pro, setting Midwest regional records with tens of thousands placed in gainful employment.

Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire by William James Glackens (1870 - 1938).
Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire by William James Glackens (1870 - 1938). | Source

A City on Many Top 10 Lists

Portsmouth, New Hampshire is among the Top 30 Cities for Jobs in America, even during a recession. This metropolitan area stands at Number 28 on this list for several reasons. One is the proactive advancement of the local economy by the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce. Another is the The redevelopment of Pease Air Force Base that has created new jobs.

Intent on actively building business in Rockingham County and Portsmouth, the local Chamber of Commerce hosts a radio show called Seacoast Business Connection, a special project of the Chamber's Business Development Committee. It features shows on new businesses in the metro area on WSCA FM 106.1 and online at every Monday at 12:00 PM.

Awards Won by Portsmouth:

  • Cosmopolitan magazine named it to its Top 10 Best Places to Live and Work in America list.
  • The UTNE Reader named Portsmouth to its list of The 50 Most Enlightened Cities in America.
  • Money Magazine recognized this city as a Top 10 Best Places to Live in the USA five (5) times from 1998 - 2008.

Portsmouth NH:
Portsmouth, NH, USA

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Downtown Revitalization Increases Business and Jobs

The refurbishing an expansion of Downtown Portsmouth, including the Historic District and several attractions on the US National Historic Registry of Landmarks, has brought increasing economic wealth to the city with a momentum that continues to move forward.

The central city offers successful art galleries, theaters, museums, restaurants and taverns, and international cuisines. Venues and events that attract tourists from around the world include the Music Hall (133 years old in 2018), the Prescott Park Arts Festival that lasts a month in the summer; and the Seacoast Repertory Theatre.

Additional special events include the popular Portsmouth Jazz Festival, Children's Day, Market Square Day, the Winter Solstice Celebration, New Year's in Portsmouth, and Historic Candlelight Walking Tours.

Located on a major waterway at the mouth of the Piscataqua River across from the State of Maine, the city is also a metropolitan hub for several other surrounding towns. These include the larger Rochester and Dover; and the smaller Exeter, Hampton, Greenland, Stratham, and others in New Hampshire; and Kittery, Eliot, South Berwick, and York in Maine. Portsmouth is the major center among these cities for work, trade, and travel.

Historic New England Background

This area of New England came in a land grant to founding settlers in1622. The Council of Plymouth provided a township grant in 1631 for the acreage that became Portsmouth and the adjoining harbor, along with several additional nearby towns.

Portsmouth (the port's mouth) was originally named Piscataqua, and then Strawberry Banke for its abundant wild strawberries. Portsmouth was later chosen to honor Portsmouth, England and to denote the potentially lucrative port in the harbor at the mouth of an adjacent river.

Portsmouth was chosen capitol of the New Hampshire colony in 1679. because of the good trade and shipping elements of the area, the town continued to grow through the Revolutionary War, and in America, up through most of the 20th Century. In fact, from 1950 - 1960, the population increased by 43%.

Population Growth and Industrial Trends

Portsmouth lost some population in the 1990s, but began to increase again in the 21st century to approximately 21,000 in the city (2008) and about 300,000 in the county of Rockingham.

The local leading industries for growth potential include:

  • Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services are projected to increase by 68% in the 10 years ending 2016.
  • Social Assistance as an industry is to increase by 54%
  • Chemical Engineering and Chemical Products Manufacture
  • Educational Services
  • Biotechnologies and Sustainability-related businesses

Top 10 Employers in Greater Portsmouth Area

The Top Three Largest Employers are also among the Top 50 employing the largest numbers of people in the state of New Hampshire.

  1. UA Local 788 Marine Pipefitter’s Union: 4,000 employees
  2. Columbia HCA Hospital
  3. Portsmouth Regional Hospital
  4. Antiquarian Bookstore - Approximately 1,000 employees in the sales of high-valued antique books and related relics. Online and in-store sales. Visit
  5. City of Portsmouth - City government.
  6. US Department of State, National Passport Center Passport
  7. Liberty Mutual Insurance
  8. Lonza Biologies Biotechnology
  9. US Department of State National Visa Center
  10. Erie Scientific/Sybron Lab

Top 10 High Demand Jobs

  1. Registered Nurses (RNs)
  2. Elementary, Middle School and High School Teachers - Mainstream classes
  3. College Level Teachers and Instructors
  4. Veterinarians and Veterinary Techs in all categories
  5. Dental Hygienists
  6. Pharmacy Technicians
  7. Licensed Practical & Vocational Nurses (LPN and VN)
  8. Teacher's Assistants
  9. Adult Education Instructors
  10. Business Operations Specialists

Additional High Demand Jobs

  • Managers, all levels and industries
  • Computer and IT positions
  • Retail and Wholesale Sales People and related, especially retail sales.

Top Job Listers

  1. Liberty Mutual Group - Insurance for specialties of Auto, Home & Renters with free Quotes Online
  2. Genesis HealthCare - Specialties of long-term care services, short stay care, transitional care, rehab services, and additional specialty services.
  3. York Hospital - York, New Hampshire. Founded in 1880, this teaching hospital has seven residency programs, five allied health schools, and many other training programs.
  4. Exeter Hospital/Exeter Health Resources
  5. Anna Jaques Hospital - Anna Jaques donated $25,000 in 1883 for Newburyport’s first hospital.
  6. Frisbie Memorial Hospital - Recognized in July 2014 by the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force for its Mom-to-Mom Breastfeeding Support Group.
  7. Core Medical - CoreMedical group is the leader in permanent and travel nurse, allied health & HIT staffing.
  8. Hospital Jobs Online
  9. Kmart; Pizza Hut, etc.
  10. Kindred Healthcare - This is the largest diversified provider of post-acute care services in the USA.
  11. Interim HealthCare - For the interim: home care, hospice, and senior care.
  12. MAS Medical Staffing - Nurses, physical therapists & other medical professionals.

Higher Education

Colleges & Universities

  • Antioch New England Graduate School
  • Franklin Pierce University:
  • Granite State College:
  • Mount Washington College
  • New Hampshire Community Technical College
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of Southern Maine

Vocational Schools, College Level

Environmental Activism and Jobs

Portsmouth has been listed by several organization as one of the top cities for walking in the country. In addition to open green space and parks for walking, Portsmouth offers a large waterfront area with its own Prescott Park. This park cultivates flowers in spring and summer and experiments with new varieties that are interesting to view.

A cultural arts festival is held at the park every summer. This includes theatrical productions of such famous works as The Wizard of Oz and other family favorites. In addition to the park, a dozen public beaches can be found along the coastline. Three local brewers offer tours as well. Kayak rentals, lighthouses, maritime museums and reserves round out the year-around activities.


Strawbery Banke Museum: Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP) worked with cities, college campuses, and business corporations to reduce millions of tons of greenhouse gas out of the atmosphere. A grant was awarded to this museum to continue that sort of work in its facilities, offering a number of jobs. In fact, an undergraduate and graduate Climate Fellowhip is available for students to work in this sustainability effort.

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse

Snowkiting in Winter

© 2009 Patty Inglish MS


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