The fastest job growth will occur in con­struc­tion, as housing and com­mer­cial real estate mar­kets rebound, as well as in two tech­nology related sec­tors, pro­fes­sional and busi­ness ser­vices and infor­ma­tion ser­vices, and leisure and hos­pi­tality, according to forecasts.

The economy will “slowly accel­erate, and by the end of the year we should have stronger growth,” said North­eastern Uni­ver­sity econ­o­mist Alan Clayton-​​Matthews. He added, “The worst may be now.”

A slow pace of hiring marked the final months of 2012 for Mass­a­chu­setts as con­cerns about how Con­gress would manage the com­bi­na­tion of tax increases and budget cuts known as the fiscal cliff led both con­sumers and busi­nesses to hold back on spending. The con­tinued eco­nomic strug­gles in Europe, the state’s largest export market, also had a si

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