The University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Donahue Institute

A program of the Economic and Public Policy Research Group at the UMass Donahue Institute
in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

MassBenchmarks Journal

2023 volume 25 issue 2

MassBenchmarks Journal cover showing a Massachusetts eroding coastline.The Fall 2023 issue of MassBenchmarks examines current conditions in the Massachusetts economy, while highlighting significant policy challenges facing our state. The first feature article underscores the workforce development challenges facing the Commonwealth, while presenting new strategies to overcome labor shortages. The second feature discusses the climate-change outlook for coastal and inland municipalities in Massachusetts, and a partnership to produce actionable science and support data-informed decision-making for climate resilience. The final piece highlights post-pandemic challenges related to migration, in particular, an increase in domestic out-migration.


Notes from the Board
Branner Stewart
State must capitalize on this period of relative economic growth and focus on transportation, childcare, and housing to address inequality and foster greater economic opportunity.

State of the State Economy
Mark Melnik
Current indicators are strong, outpacing national growth trends especially in terms of payroll employment and gross domestic product, and the nation has been resilient thus far to a recession. Future growth at this pace, however, will be difficult to maintain.

Worker Shortages and the North Central Massachusetts Region: Engaging Hidden and Future Workers to Grow the Local Economy
Branner Stewart & Kazmiera Breest
Similar to the state, North Central Massachusetts is facing a future of labor shortages, exacerbated by a wave of retirements and the pandemic. A recent study shows how a region can develop and attract workers to meet the impending needs of its diverse employer base.

Climate Resilience in Coastal Massachusetts: A Survey of Municipal Challenges, Plans, and Needs
Marta Vicarelli, Rob DeConto, Darci Connor Maresca, & Contributing Authors
The Northeast Center for Coastal Resilience— collaboration across the UMass system with over 60 faculty and researchers and 50 regional partners—conducted a survey on coastal resilience in Massachusetts municipalities and produced a comprehensive report on climate-change hazards, resilience strategies, and barriers. 

Endnotes: Post-Pandemic Demographics and Destiny in Massachusetts
Doug Howgate
With changing demographic patterns and increased out-migration, the state’s focus should be on lowering living costs and improving the quality of life to make Massachusetts an attractive place to settle and stay.

Read this publication on Issuu.


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University of Massachusetts Amherst

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