The Boston Globe – Mass. jobless rate fell to 6.5% in February

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The Massachusetts unemployment rate slipped below the nation’s for the first time since November as employers added nearly 4,000 jobs last month, the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday.

The Boston Globe – Workers’ skills aren’t matching available jobs

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Policy School professor and economist Alan Clayton-Matthews says it’s unrealistic to expect people trained for one occupation to train for an entirely different one because demand changes.

CommonWealth Magazine – A troubling transit trend line

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Stephanie Pollack, Associate Director of Research for the Dukakis Center, says the MBTA needs to upgrade equipment and to market to new riders if suburbanites are to choose rails over roads.

Worcester Business Journal – Federal Shutdown Drops Mass. Business Confidence

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Alan Clayton-Matthews comments on survey results concerning confidence in Massachusetts’ business climate.

Massachusetts Plan Starts Small for Big Upgrade to Rail System

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By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE | The New York Times

BOSTON — Later this spring, Bostonians eager to flee to Cape Cod for the weekend will have an option other than sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 70 miles and fuming along with everyone else.

Starting May 24, they can hop a train to Hyannis, where regional buses, ferries and rental cars will await to whisk them out to the beaches, islands and wind-swept dunes.

The train, the first passenger service to the cape since 1995, is one small piece of a major $13 billion transportation overhaul envisioned by Gov. Deval Patrick. That overhaul is aimed chiefly at repairing and upgrading worn-out bridges, roads and commuter lines in Massachusetts, but about 20 percent of it would go toward reviving train service to the cape and elsewhere in the state.

Mr. Patrick said that upgrading these in-state routes would spur economic development. It would also provide important links for Amtrak’s long-range plans to establish high-speed train service throughout New England. Read More

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