Alan Clayton-​​Matthews, a North­eastern Uni­ver­sity eco­nomics pro­fessor, said the state is ben­e­fit­ting from stronger national and world economies. The Inter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund recently said it expected the global economy to grow faster than ear­lier fore­casts, noting improving con­sumer con­fi­dence in Europe and a roaring stock market in the United States.

Last month, the biggest job employ­ment gains in Mass­a­chu­setts came in pro­fes­sional, sci­en­tific and busi­ness ser­vices, which include tech­nology, sci­en­tific research, and con­sulting firms. That sector added 4,700 jobs in December and more than 14,000 in 2013.

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