Recent Performance of the Massachusetts Economy

(The Governor’s top economic team member discusses the state of the Massachusetts Economy.   – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)

There were a couple of posts last week about the growth of the Massachusetts economy. The posts, and the comments on them, suggested that the statistics were all over the place and did not tell a consistent story. In fact, putting aside for a minute the reasons behind our economic performance, the numbers from various sources do tell a very consistent story:

1. The state’s employment and GDP growth from 2000 to 2006 were among the worst in the nation, compared to other states.

2. The state’s employment and GDP growth from 2007 to date have been among the best in the nation, compared to other states.

3. Our economy’s recent performance has not yet been enough to offset our economy’s earlier poor performance, so our numbers for the last decade as a whole are still not good.

The statistics on our economy’s performance in this major national/global recession are particularly noteworthy, since Massachusetts had performed relatively poorly in both of the last two major national/global recessions (1989-91 and 2001). Something very different is happening in our Massachusetts economy now.

There are a lot of great questions to discuss, such as whether our economy’s performance will continue to be relatively strong, compared to other states, and what are the reasons for its good recent performance. But the fact that the Massachusetts economy is now performing very differently should be the starting point for those discussions.

Note: I am the secretary of housing and economic development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

About Greg Bialecki