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“Boston’s Back” – City Hall Says Recession is Over

Residents and local business owners probably already figured out the recession ended just by looking at the number of people in the restaurants and shops, record tourists, surging real estate prices, more traffic, no parking, crowded T trains or the cranes in the air. City Hall released its official numbers today, mostly all showing a substantial improvement. The one lagging figure is the stubbornly high unemployment rate.

The City’s press release, shown below, gives more details on the economic state of Boston’s economy as does a report from the BRA. Mayor Menino is scheduled to give his “State of the City” address next week.

Boston’s Back: Leads Recession-Weary Cities in Rebound

Mayor Menino releases 2013 Economy Report
Unemployment rate continues to fall, job numbers climbing to all-time high

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced the Boston economy has made a full recovery from the Great Recession. New data released by the Boston Redevelopment Authority in its “2013 Economy Report” shows the unemployment rate in Boston has fallen steadily over the last two and a half years. The City is projecting an all-time record for employment in 2012 with 682,000 jobs. The data shows Boston has regained nearly all jobs lost between 2008 and 2010 and new investment from construction topped $3.8 billion, a 10-year high, in fiscal 2012. The full report can be found here:

“Boston weathered the Great Recession better than most American cities, but we still saw our share of hardship,” Mayor Menino said. “Lost jobs and uncertainty cast a shadow on our families and neighborhoods, but we’ve come out stronger on the other side, and even more focused on creating a better tomorrow.”

2013 Economy Report Highlights

The Unemployment Rate is Falling

  • In the first 11 months of 2012 Boston’s average unemployment rate was lower than Massachusetts and the United States.
  • Boston’s average annual unemployment rate was lower than both the United States and Massachusetts averages between 2007 and 2011.
  • In November 2012 the Boston unemployment rate was 5.9% (not seasonally adjusted), the state unemployment rate was 6.1%, and the U.S. unemployment rate was 7.4%.

Job Numbers Grow to Near Prerecession Numbers and Trend Continues Up

  • Data shows job numbers have returned to prerecession levels, with projections for an all-time employment high in 2012.
  • Boston’s 2.2% job growth from 2010 to 2011 exceeded the 1.3% state average, adding more than 14,000 new jobs.
  • Job growth is being driven by professional, scientific, and technical services, education, health care, and the bar and restaurant industry.

Job Growth Strong in Boston’s Knowledge-Based Industries

  • Job projections for the state economy imply strong growth for Boston, with 728,500 jobs in 2016, a 7.9% increase over 2011.
  • Notable projected growth industries include professional, scientific, and technical services, education, and health care.
  • These projections also anticipate that Boston achieved an all-time record for employment in 2012 with 682,000 jobs, but hard data will not substantiate this until fall 2013.

Investors are Bullish on Boston

  • Boston issued building permits representing an estimated $3.8 billion in construction in FY2012, this is a virtual tie with FY2008 for the highest level in 10 years.
  • Construction authorized in FY2012 was more than double the FY2010 level, which was depressed by the recession.