City Club of San Diego – January 21, 2012


Parts 1 and 2 not yet posted Part 3 Part 4

Mass. jobless rate falls to 6.8%, lowest in three years

January 20, 2012|By Erin Ailworth | Link to article at


The Massachusetts unemployment rate last month fell below 7 percent for the first time in three years, but employers cut jobs – a sign that the state’s economy may be slowing after a burst of growth early last year.

Economists said a slowdown, or rather a leveling off, is to be expected after the state enjoyed some of the most robust job gains in years during the first half of 2011.

Good news on U.S. jobs bodes well for Mass. employment


By Ira Kantor | Saturday, January 7, 2012
With 200,000 jobs added to the U.S. economy last month and the national unemployment rate down to 8.5 percent, economic experts say the good news should rub off on the Bay State’s December employment numbers, which will be released later this month.

“If the national economy is growing, that’s going to help Massachusetts because the rest of the country is the state’s biggest customer,” said Northeastern University economist Alan Clayton-Matthews. “This is good news for Massachusetts (but) it doesn’t mean that we’ll be growing as strongly in December in payroll employment as the nation appeared to.”

2012 forecast: Economists see continued slow growth


By Lisa Eckelbecker | January 1, 2012

Weary of the dreary economy yet? The housing slump? High unemployment? Volatile investment markets? Miserly consumers?Get used to it.

Economists and experts think 2012 will bring much the same.

The Massachusetts economy is poised to grow just 2 percent in the fiscal year ending in September 2012, according to a forecast developed recently by Alan Clayton-Matthews, senior contributing editor of the
Massachusetts economic journal MassBenchmarks and an associate professor at Northeastern University. Between sovereign debt negotiations in Europe, a tax standoff in Congress and a lower Massachusetts unemployment rate, little happened in the final days of 2011 to change what he described as a dark outlook.

Home Sales Up a Fifth Month


December 22, 2011|By Jenifer B. McKim

November marked the fifth consecutive month of improved housing sales in Massachusetts, but 2011 is still likely to wind up being the slowest year for the state’s real estate market in two decades, data released yesterday show.

Sales of single-family homes rose to 3,253 in November – up about 13 percent compared with the same period in 2010, according to Warren Group, a Boston company that tracks real estate.

Year-to-date, however, sales are down 6.7 percent, compared with the first 11 months of 2010.

From January through November, the median home price fell to $290,000, a 2.5 percent drop compared with the same period in 2010, Warren Group said. In November, the median price dropped to $271,000, 8 percent lower than for that month last year.

Smart Growth Funds Running Out


By Paul McMorrow | December 29, 2011

THE ACCOUNT THAT funds the state’s smart growth law is running out of cash, raising the prospect that the state’s first major effort at using incentives to promote housing construction could grind to a halt before it really gets rolling.

Less than $1.4 million remains in the state’s Smart Growth Housing Trust Fund, which pays municipalities bonuses for approving and building dense housing developments. Budgeted payments over the next few months will further deplete the fund, leaving just $177,000 left in the account.

“I hope the commonwealth would honor its own legislation,” says Barry Bluestone, an economist at Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy. “We’re starting to get some real results. Housing is finally going up, even in this weak economy, and with a very strong market for rental housing, I’m hoping we’ll see a lot more.”

Will 2012 be the year for economic optimists?


January 01, 2012 | The Boston Globe

By Jay Fitzgerald

The economic optimists have to get it right one of these days. Will this be the year?

With the nation struggling with a subpar recovery, the outlook for 2012 remains muddled. There’s still plenty to worry about, but also hopeful signs.

On the dark side, there’s the European debt crisis, and a jobless rate that is still historically high. The housing market remains in a funk. Crude oil prices are moving upward again.

“There’s not much to look forward to in 2012,’’ said Alan Clayton-Matthews, an economist at Northeastern University in Boston. “It’s going to be slow growth for the year, I fear.’’

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