Report hails Mass. biotech spending as job creator

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State’s $1b initiative said to yield economic strength

By Robert Weisman | GLOBE STAFF MARCH 26, 2013

Halfway through a decade of investment promised by Governor Deval Patrick’s 10-year, $1 billion life-sciences initiative, launched in 2008, the state has spent only about a third of the money targeted to promote the biotechnology and medical device industries in Massachusetts.

But the authors of a report set to be released Tuesday by the Boston Foundation, a philanthropic group, say the effort has helped stimulate a key sector of the state’s economy, creating more than 8,000 jobs through capital grants, tax incentives, and business loans. Read More

Expert says cities, towns need to thaw job freeze

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By Dave Solomon | New Hampshire Union Leader | February 1, 2013

GOFFSTOWN – New Hampshire job growth has been essentially frozen for the past decade, and it’s up to the cities and towns in the state to do something about it.

That was the call to action from an expert on economic development, who warned a gathering of local business owners and municipal officials on Thursday that federal and state governments are overextended and will have little to offer in the way of economic stimulus in the years ahead.

Local leadership is critical to job growth, because “companies move to municipalities, not states,” said Barry Bluestone, founding director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University in a presentation to a regional economic development group that embraces Manchester and 13 surrounding communities.

Bluestone was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of Access Greater Manchester, created in 2012 as Metro Center-NH, under the leadership of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission and the state Division of Economic Development. Read More

Tech sector spurs Mass. growth as US economy contracts

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By Robert Gavin | The Boston Globe | January 30, 2013

No one is calling it a return to boom times, but the state’s economy grew modestly in the ­final three months of 2012, even as the US economy unexpectedly contracted slightly, the University of Massachusetts reported Wednesday.

The contrast offered further evidence the state is rebounding from the recession at a more robust pace than the nation as a whole, largely on the strength of its technology industries.

“This appears to be a slow quarter, but the Massachusetts economy is growing still,” said Alan Clayton-Matthews, a Northeastern University economist and author of the report. “And growth is going to pick up.”

The state’s economy grew at a 1 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, while the Commerce Department said the US economy shrunk at an annual rate of one-tenth of a percent, largely because of a pullback in government spending. Read More

The 2013 outlook: Slow hiring, then it picks up

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By Megan Woolhouse | The Boston Globe | January 13, 2013

The Massachusetts economy grew slowly last year, but economists predict it will gain steam throughout 2013, adding jobs at a moderate pace.

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 significant impact, slowing demand for Massachusetts technology, pharmaceutical, and other products made here. Read More

Brighter outlook for Mass. businesses in 2013

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US and global economies are predicted to rebound if the fiscal crisis can be resolved swiftly, and Massachusetts is well positioned to build on its strengths

By Globe Staff | The Boston Globe | December 30, 2012
The Massachusetts economy, despite slowing in recent months, should improve in 2013, adding jobs at a moderate pace and gaining speed towards the end of the year, according to economic forecasts.

But the forecasts hinge on an important factor: the fiscal cliff. If drastic federal tax increases and spending cuts go into effect next month as scheduled, they could tip the state and national economies into a double-dip recession, according to Northeastern University economics professor Alan Clayton-Matthews. Massachusetts stands to lose more than 50,000 jobs in the next few years unless a political compromise is reached soon.

Clayton-Matthews said he expects Congress and the White House will reach a compromise before the worst can happen. And once they do, he said, it should provide a lift for Massachusetts, freeing employers from uncertainty about taxes and the government’s next move. Read More

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