After declines, jobless rate in Mass. on the rise

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By Priyanka Dayal McCluskey | Worcester Telegram & Gazette | February 24, 2013

For more than two years starting in early 2010, the Massachusetts unemployment rate fell steadily, indicating that the economy was improving after a severe recession.

But recently, the trend has reversed. After falling to 6 percent in May and June of 2012, the unemployment rate ended the year at 6.7 percent.

In the Worcester metropolitan area, unemployment fell to 6.4 percent in April and May but rose to 7.2 percent by year’s end.

The reversal may be unwelcome, but it’s not entirely surprising, given the slowdown in economic growth during the second half of 2012, according to Northeastern University economist Alan Clayton-Matthews. The Massachusetts economy grew just 1 percent in the last quarter of 2012, Mr. Clayton-Matthews reported in the journal MassBenchmarks. Read More

Regional economy still isn’t gathering steam

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By Dan O’Brien | The Lowell Sun | October 28, 2012

John Mattheos, owner of Salon Mattheos, has been building his brand in Lowell for 20 years. He’s seen strong economic times and weak ones.

Earlier this year, Mattheos took advantage of a still-depressed real-estate market to scoop up a foreclosed property on Rogers Street, then invested tens of thousands of dollars to renovate it into a salon.

“I grew up in this neighborhood, Belvidere, so I figured I would do really well here,” Mattheos said in a recent interview. “It’s been OK. But I really thought I’d be able to get to that next level by now.”

More than three years after the last recession (supposedly) ended, many businesses are just not seeing the strong comeback they anticipated would happen.

Because it really hasn’t happened.

A report released Friday from MassBenchmarks, a journal of the Massachusetts economy published by the UMass Donahue Institute in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, found that economic growth in Massachusetts was a mere 1.9 percent during the third quarter. Read More

Mass. 2011 Job Growth Better Than Estimated

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Jacquelyn Gutc | Worcester Business Journal Online | July 12, 2012

Job growth in Massachusetts in 2011 was greater than originally estimated, according to a new MassBenchmarks census out today from the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.

Economic journal MassBenchmarks estimates that the number of jobs in the commonwealth was 3,241,800, 30,000 more than the official payroll job count done by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) with less complete data. It also found that job growth between December 2010 and December 2011 was 39,100, or 1.2 percent. That’s significantly more than the 9,100 jobs and 0.3 percent growth rate reported by the BLS. The BLS originally said the state had created 41,000 jobs in 2011, but heavily revised that figure to 9,100 in March. Read More

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