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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