CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire is creating a state office dedicated to outdoor recreation in hopes of both expanding that industry and using it to attract young workers to other sectors.

The budget recently signed by Republican Gov. Chris Sununu included the creation of the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development within the Department of Business and Economic Affairs. Commissioner Taylor Caswell says the new office builds upon ongoing efforts to leverage economic development with tourism marketing and will promote New Hampshire as the East Coast state that best combines a vibrant economy with outdoor lifestyles.

In a report last month, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis said the outdoor recreation industry employs nearly 38,000 people in New Hampshire and accounts for 3.3 percent of the gross state product.

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