Economists: Massachusetts economy continues to grow faster than US

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Real gross domestic product in Massachusetts grew at an estimated annualized rate of 5.4 percent in the second-quarter of 2015, according to figures released this week by MassBenchmarks.

Is the skills gap real?

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Economists challenge a politicians’ truism.

Some offshored manufacturing jobs return to US

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About 3,000 manufacturing jobs have returned from offshore to the Northeast in the past five years, including 600 to Massachusetts, according to the Reshoring Initiative, a group that promotes US manufacturing. The higher costs of doing business in Massachusetts can work against the state, said Harry Moser, the group’s founder, but reshoring here is still attractive to some companies because of the skilled workforce and proximity to colleges and universities.

Transportation transformation in Metrowest

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There’s a vision for downtown Framingham and it looks a little something like Somerville. Town Manager Bob Halpin hopes to make the area vibrant, but mostly convenient as a hub for the young workforce. None of that can happen, however, without a way to get around. Halpin is focused on transit-oriented development, or bringing amenities and apartments to an area with a train and bus system to boost the local economy. With the MetroWest and Milford area population aging, some say bringing in better transportation will be key to keeping MetroWest towns thriving, as Halpin hopes to do.

Happy MISERS! Colleges Across Boston Refuse To Pay For Basic City Services

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Colleges and universities in Boston fail to pay voluntary fees for essential services provided by the taxpayers, such as police protection, fire protection and snow removal.

Mass. adds workers; unemployment rate unchanged at 4.6 percent

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Massachusetts added 10,500 jobs last month, the 10th straight month of gains, the Massachusetts Office of Labor and Workforce Development said Wednesday.

Boston reconsiders policy reserving housing units for moderate-income tenants

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By Sharon O’Malley | constructiondive.com | July 15, 2015 Dive Brief: A Boston law requiring developers to make room for moderate-income residents in new condominium and apartment buildings “does virtually nothing to solve the housing crisis,” according to Northeastern University. So Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is reconsidering a city policy that sets aside 13% of […]

Audit finds BRA is a dysfunctional bureaucracy

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The agency charged with overseeing the real estate boom coursing through Boston is a dysfunctional bureaucracy, its system for reviewing projects erratic, with just a few powerful staffers deciding how new buildings will look using “unwritten rules,” according to a highly critical audit being released by City Hall Thursday.

Boston Mayor Mulls Affordable Housing Policy Change

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Mayor Marty Walsh is reconsidering whether inclusionary zoning exchanges help or hurt — or do anything at all — about the city’s growing housing crisis.

Luxury-Home Lottos Reconsidered in Boston Housing Squeeze

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The Boston policy requiring developers to accommodate lower-income residents in even the most expensive buildings is being scrutinized as cities struggle to provide affordable housing. Helping affordable-housing lottery winners live in swanky digs limits the construction of properties elsewhere that can accommodate more people, said Barry Bluestone, an economist and founding director of Northeastern University’s Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy. “It’s a nice gesture but it does virtually nothing to solve the housing crisis,” said Dr. Bluestone. “There are a lot of areas where it would be cheaper to build middle-income housing.”

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