Albright, Bluestone, and Clayton-Matthews Explain Trends in MA Population Rise

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Boom in immigration fuels state population rise; Middlesex, Suffolk counties add most

By Matt Carroll | The Boston Globe | April 08, 2013

Driven by a boom in immigration, the Boston area grew by about 55,000 residents in a recent two-year period, according to new county population estimates by the US Census Bureau.

The population growth in Cambridge’s Middlesex County and Boston’s Suffolk County together accounted for about half the state’s overall growth of about 100,000 new residents between April 2010 and July 2012, the census figures show.

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

Should Mass. raise taxes?

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Four views on whether there have been enough reforms to justify Patrick’s proposed tax increase

Globe Correspondents | The Boston Globe | February 17, 2013

Yes: Pair revenue, reform

Since 1998, the Commonwealth has reduced personal and corporate income tax rates, costing the state $2.5 billion a year — leaving little to pay current bills or deal with $80 billion in past unfunded liabilities, let alone make critical education and transportation investments for our future. Yet with the public demanding reform before revenue, the governor and Legislature have been hesitant to increase taxes.

Reform is precisely what the Commonwealth has been doing. Major changes to the public employee health-insurance system and public pensions will save billions of dollars over the next 30 years. Accountability in our K-12 schools will enhance classroom quality. The Turnpike Authority was merged into the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the “Fast 14” project has sped up bridge repairs.

Thousands of other efficiencies, big and small, have been implemented, from replacing police officers with civilian flaggers to moving 3 million Registry of Motor Vehicle transactions online. Operating under a new strict statewide performance management system, every executive office has been cutting costs. With this focus on efficiency, state government employment has grown by just 0.3 percent over the past two years, while total non-farm employment has grown by 1.9 percent. State government is shrinking as a share of the state’s economy. 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

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