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Federal Fiscal Policies are slowing the Massachusetts Economy declares the MassBenchmarks Editorial Board

Although the state’s housing market seems to be experiencing a surge, Massachusetts’ economy is slowing down, as evidenced by a one percent annualized rate of growth in April and May and the continued struggles of the state’s labor force.

Underemployment (those working part-time but wanting full-time work) and the plight of younger and less skilled workers who feel increasingly disconnected from the labor market underlie the state’s unemployment rate, which hovers only one percentage point below the national rate.

The impact of federal sequestration has been felt in research-intensive enterprises and government contractors, as well as Head Start and other educational programs, career centers and job training services, and Community Development Block Grant funds, all of which have experienced significant cuts in recent months. At the same time, growing international competition and the economic challenges facing the state's major trading partners, including Canada, the European Union, and Asia, appear to be taking their toll on the Commonwealth's export activity, which declined by 11.1 percent between April 2012 and April 2013.

Read the full bulletin, "Federal fiscal policies are slowing the Massachusetts economy"

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University of Massachusetts Amherst

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