A Manufacturing Comeback in Massachusetts

By  | WGBH | August 3, 2012
Credit Curran Kelleher / Flickr
According to Barry Bluestone, Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, there has been a recent increase in manufacturing employment and output.

U.S. employers adding 163,000 jobs in July was a hopeful sign for many, including investors. Stocks rose on Wall Street even though the figure wasn’t enough to drive down the jobless rate.

The U.S. Labor Market reported that the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent in June.

But Barry Bluestone, Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University said the latest report is a good sign for the U.S. and for Massachusetts. The Bay State is seeing growth in industries beyond the healthcare sector, education and financial services.

“We’re seeing growth in the leisure and hospitality industry,” Bluestone said. “And we’ve also seen, after a decline in manufacturing, a growth in manufacturing employment and a rapid increase in output in manufacturing.”

Local manufacturing firms are using more advanced technologies, making it possible for them to compete in national and international markets.

“So manufacturing, which practically had been given up for dead five or six years ago is actually coming back as a major sector in Massachusetts once again,” Bluestone said.

The Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy will release a study in September on the economic health of manufacturing in Massachusetts.

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