Mass. economy will slow, report says
The Massachusetts economy, which grew strongly in the first half of this year, will slow considerably over the next several months before accelerating again near the middle of 2011, according to a new forecast.
The forecast, released today by the nonprofit New England Economic Partnership, expects the struggling national economy to weigh on the recovery here, leading to anemic job growth through the rest of this year and into the first few months of next year. But as the national economy picks up later in 2011, so will the state economy, creating jobs at a solid clip, according to the forecast.
All told, the state will add about 30,000 jobs next year, and about twice than number, or 60,000 in 2012, according to the forecast. By early 2013, the state will have regained all the jobs lost in the recent recession, although total employment will remain below the all-time peak hit in 2001.
Massachusetts, due to an industrial mix that relies more on technology and business spending, and less on housing and consumer spending, has recovered from the recession faster than the nation as whole. The state economy has expanded faster than the national economy in each of the past three quarters, and the rate of job growth in the first nine months of the year has been nearly triple the national rate.
Once the state gets through the next several months of slow growth, the outlook is upbeat, according to the forecast. The unemployment rate will decline steadily, falling below 6 percent in 2013. Income growth will accelerate, from a 1.7 percent rate this year, to 3.2 percent next year, and 5.1 percent in 2012.
The state’s average wage and salary will remain about 20 percent above the national average.
Over the next five years, job growth will be led by professional and business services, a sector that includes a variety to technology, research and consulting firms. Other sectors projected to experience solid growth are education and heath services, construction, leisure and hospitality, and information, which includes software publishers.
Employment in manufacturing, financial services, government, and trade, transportation and utilities is expected to lag.