Sat, November 26, 2011
I was unable to attend last week's New England Economic Partnership conference, but it sounds like it was a fairly somber gathering.
The consortium of New England-based economic analysts painted a measured picture of the region’s prospects for growth.
Housing prices generally are expected to remain sluggish until early 2013, and the group projects that it will be 2015 before New England employment returns to pre-recession levels.
Unemployment in the Bay State was steady at 7.3 percent last month, better than the national average of 9 percent. Within the New England states there will be considerable variability in performance. Rhode Island, with 10.5% joblessness, is worst off and is expected to remain that way for a while. Employment growth will be weakest in Maine and Connecticut, with Vermont and New Hampshire expected to show the strongest performance in jobs added. Even so, only Vermont is expected to experience job growth in excess of the national average.
Northeastern University economist Alan Clayton-Matthews predicted, “Massachusetts will avoid a recession, but output will grow slowly enough so that some job losses are expected for the remainder of this year and the first quarter of next year.” The state’s economy is not expected to fully recover until 2013.