Showing posts with label economy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label economy. Show all posts

Friday, January 27, 2023

UN Report: "Our world is in a state of fracture – the social contract is broken"

Local Return (@LocalReturnRI) tweeted Thu, Jan 26, 2023:
"There is perhaps no stronger evidence of the pressing need to redesign our global system than the fact that a global health crisis doubled the wealth of the 10 richest men in the world while sending upwards of 120 million people into extreme poverty."
Shared from Twitter ->

Direct link to the full or overview of the report ->

UN Report: "Our world is in a state of fracture – the social contract is broken"
UN Report: "Our world is in a state of fracture – the social contract is broken"

Friday, August 26, 2022

Episode 513 of Freakonomics Radio asks a good question: "Should Public Transit Be Free?"

Episode 513 of Freakonomics Radio asks a good question: "Should Public Transit Be Free?

The episode byline reads "It boosts economic opportunity and social mobility. It’s good for the environment. So why do we charge people to use it? The short answer: it’s complicated."

CommonWealth Magazine has coverage of this episode here (Boston Mayor Michelle Wu participates in this episode)  ->  
Episode 513 of Freakonomics Radio asks a good question: "Should Public Transit Be Free?"
Episode 513 of Freakonomics Radio asks a good question: "Should Public Transit Be Free?" 

Monday, April 25, 2022

Washington Post: "Five charts explaining why inflation is at a 40-year high"

"The bumpy economic recovery has had policymakers, economists and Americans households grappling with greater price hikes for groceries, cars, rent and other essentials.

The latest inflation data, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that prices in March climbed 8.5 percent compared with the year before, the highest measure in over 40 years.

The Federal Reserve has launched a major series of interest rate increases to get inflation under control, penciling in seven hikes by the end of the year. But it’s unclear how quickly that action will be able to bring down the rising cost of living, or if the Fed will be spurred to even more aggressive action that risks thrusting the economy into a recession

Persistent supply chain backlogs and high consumer demand for goods have kept prices elevated. And more recently, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has strained global energy markets and triggered higher gasoline prices. There is no clear answer for when that will change, leaving Americans to feel the strain in their pocketbooks in the meantime. This is a breakdown of how we got here."

Continue reading the article (subscription may be required) 

"Five charts explaining why inflation is at a 40-year high"
"Five charts explaining why inflation is at a 40-year high"

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Boston Globe: "The long, slow return of the Mass. job market"

"The state’s economic recovery from the COVID shock of 2020 is nearly complete, with one important exception: the job market.

The Massachusetts economy — the value of goods and services produced — is bigger now than it was before the pandemic. Personal incomes are higher and so are retail sales.

Most key measures of employment, however, have not returned to their February 2020 marks, and the gains since the bottom of the recession have lagged behind the national average.

But data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers some encouragement. Employment growth is continuing to rebound, albeit at a modest pace, from the summer setback caused by the Delta variant. More people are joining the workforce. The worker shortage persists but is easing."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)

Massachusetts employers are finding it easier to hire workers.JENNY KORNREICH
Massachusetts employers are finding it easier to hire workers.JENNY KORNREICH

Monday, September 6, 2021

Inside the job market on Labor Day 2021

"A mystery sits at the heart of the economic recovery: There are 10 million job openings, yet more than 8.4 million unemployed are still actively looking for work.

The job market looks, in some ways, like a boom-time situation. Business owners complain they can’t find enough workers, pay is rising rapidly, and customers are greeted with “please be patient, we’re short-staffed” signs at many stores and restaurants.

But the nation remains in the midst of a deadly pandemic with covid-19 hospitalizations back at their highest rates since January. The surge is weighing on the labor market again, with a mere 235,000 jobs added in August. There are still 5 million fewer jobs compared to before the pandemic, reflecting ongoing problems, including child care as some schools and day cares shut down again from outbreaks.


At heart, there is a massive reallocation underway in the economy that’s triggering a “Great Reassessment” of work in America from both the employer and employee perspectives. Workers are shifting where they want to work — and how. For some, this is a personal choice. The pandemic and all of the anxieties, lockdowns and time at home have changed people. Some want to work remotely forever. Others want to spend more time with family. And others want a more flexible or more meaningful career path. It’s the “you only live once” mentality on steroids. Meanwhile, companies are beefing up automation and redoing entire supply chains and office setups."

Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required) 

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

"the end of the federal unemployment benefits may not lead to a huge surge in employment"

"MORE THAN 300,000 Massachusetts residents will lose federal unemployment insurance benefits at the end of this week, and no one is sure what that will mean for them or the state.

The federal government is pulling the plug on the benefits, which include an extra $300 a week, extra weeks, and a special program for gig workers and the self-employed. The end of the programs means the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of income for the 300,000 Massachusetts residents and the state’s economy."

Continue reading the article online
"the end of the federal unemployment benefits may not lead to a huge surge in employment"
"the end of the federal unemployment benefits may not lead to a huge surge in employment"

Monday, August 30, 2021

The Washington Post: "How the pandemic set back women’s progress in the global workforce"

"The first year of the pandemic knocked 54 million women around the world out of work, widening the gender gap in employment. It could take years for that gap to narrow again. 
Of the women who lost jobs in 2020, almost 90 percent exited the labor force completely, compared with around 70 percent of men. 
How did this happen? Country-level data offers clues. The Washington Post analyzed available data and focused on three countries that offered revealing case studies: Peru, Thailand and France."

Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required) 

Found via Twitter:

Huapaya worked during the early months of the pandemic at a restaurant, where she cut her hand on a bottle. She now works as a house cleaner twice a month and as a nanny for another family and sells meals on Sundays. (Daniela Rivera Antara for The Washington Post)
Huapaya worked during the early months of the pandemic at a restaurant, where she cut her hand on a bottle. She now works as a house cleaner twice a month and as a nanny for another family and sells meals on Sundays. (Daniela Rivera Antara for The Washington Post)

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Washington Post: "Booming business at dollar stores"

"A growing number of Americans are relying on dollar stores for everyday needs, especially groceries, as the coronavirus pandemic drags into its 18th month. Chains such as Dollar General and Dollar Tree are reporting blockbuster sales and profits, and proliferating so quickly that some U.S. cities want to limit their growth. The 1,650 dollar stores expected to open this year represent nearly half of all new national retail openings, according to Coresight Research.

Foot traffic at the largest such chain, Dollar General, is up 32 percent from pre-pandemic levels, far outpacing the 3 percent increase at Walmart, one of the few retail winners of last year, according to, which analyzes shopping patterns using location data from 30 million devices."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

A shopper pushes a cart through Family Dollar in Chicago. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News)
A shopper pushes a cart through Family Dollar in Chicago. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News)

Sunday, June 20, 2021

"Consumer spending is almost 70 percent of the economy. What Americans buy determines their standard of living"

"Travel agent Dottie Williford’s phone won’t stop buzzing: Her high-end clients in Raleigh, N.C., are eager to explore the world again. She stayed up until midnight recently to book two $20,000 cabins on a luxury cruise to the Bahamas in July. The high-end cruise ship normally sails the Mediterranean but was brought back to the Bahamas as Americans feel safer traveling closer to home. Tickets sold out by 9 a.m.

“People don’t usually spend $20,000 to go to the Bahamas, but my clients are,” Williford said. “The first things to sell out were the top category on the ship.”

The luxury travel boom is one of the clearest signs of a budding spending surge by wealthy Americans that is likely to tilt the balance of the economy even further toward the well-off and may deepen economic disparities already heightened by the global pandemic."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

"Consumer spending is almost 70 percent of the economy. What Americans buy determines their standard of living"
"Consumer spending is almost 70 percent of the economy. What Americans buy determines their standard of living"

Sunday, May 16, 2021

“Putting Humpty Dumpty back together again is a monumental task”

"About 8 million fewer people are working in the United States than before the pandemic hit and there are about 8 million job openings. That would seem to align perfectly for a booming and fast-healing labor market as the nation’s reopening accelerates.

It’s proving not nearly that simple.

“We have job fairs. We have ads going on everything from social media to Indeed, to the Globe and the Cape Cod Times. We’re not getting responses,” said DeWitt Davenport, chief executive of the Davenport Companies in South Yarmouth, which has had to scramble to hire housekeepers and other workers for its five Cape resorts. “This is something I’ve never seen in my entire life of 40 plus years of the hospitality industry on Cape Cod.”

COVID hit the economy last year like a category 5 hurricane, blasting away more than 22 million jobs, upending entire industries, and exposing deep inequities in pay and working conditions. The upheaval is dramatically reshaping the jobs market, leading many Americans, especially in the low-wage restaurant sector, to reconsider their careers, while causing government officials to reassess their policies and business owners to redouble their efforts to lure workers as pandemic restrictions disappear."
Continue reading the article online  (subscription may be required)

Saturday, February 6, 2021

New York Times: “It’s very clear our economy is still in trouble”

"The American economic recovery showed new signs of stalling on Friday as government data underscored the pandemic’s brutal damage to the job market.

U.S. employers added 49,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department said, dashing hopes that the new year would bring immediate relief. The private sector added just 6,000 jobs, barely enough to register against the millions of positions lost during the pandemic.

The weak showing was tallied amid a fresh effort in Washington to provide a big infusion of aid to foster a recovery and the data will almost certainly bolster the Democrats’ argument for a robust stimulus package."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

New York Times: "2020: The Year in Sports When Everybody Lost"

The New York Times article is highly interactive but the research on professional sports is detailed. One could easily translate the impact from Wisconsin to Massachusetts. While the Red Sox, Patriots and others are and/or were playing, the economic impact is staggering beyond the field/court/rink.
"In 2020, the sports industry in North America was projected to generate $75.7 billion, according to PwC, the accounting firm. Instead, it lost more than a third of its value as leagues suspended play before returning with stripped-down seasons.

Television ratings have tumbled for many top sporting events, and advertising, printing and revenue streams connected to the sports business, like concessions, have practically vanished.

While the coming vaccine in the United States raises hope that fans will be able to return to stadiums by late spring or early summer, the spread of the virus this winter will only deepen an already cratered sports economy. The modern sports industry has never faced such a prolonged, devastating interruption, and it is premature to gauge when sports will return fully to their pre-pandemic state, or if they ever will."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Sunday, November 29, 2020

CommonWealth Magazine: child care “holding our economy hostage”

From CommonWealth Magazine we share two articles of interest for Franklin:

"CHILD CARE’S CRITICAL importance to our economy was obvious as the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the Commonwealth. Some parents scrambled to work remotely while caring for children. Others rushed to secure care so they could perform essential work, much of it on the frontlines to ensure the health and well-being of Massachusetts residents. 

But even as the pandemic revealed the essential nature of child care, it’s also made it more vulnerable than ever. Lawmakers are entering a critical moment for the early education and care sector as they debate the 2021 fiscal year budget. And the pandemic may be coloring perceptions about the demand for child care that could hurt children and families in the long run. 

The fact is that the child care supply has dwindled in Massachusetts during the pandemic as providers closed in the face of fiscal challenges or limited enrollment to accommodate new safety protocols. The Department of Early Education and Care recently reported that enrollment is at 66 percent of pre-COVID numbers. This sharp drop includes parents who have chosen not to send their children or who now need very different arrangements than they did prior to the pandemic. As lawmakers account for these changes in the upcoming budget, do the current COVID-related trends signal decreased demand and justify a reduction in investments to stabilize and secure the sector? 

The simple answer? No. "

Continue reading the article online

"IF THERE WAS ever any doubt that the state’s system of early education and care for very young children was on the brink of crisis with far-reaching consequences, the COVID-19 pandemic has erased it. Congresswoman Katherine Clark, whose bill to  invest $50 billion in the sector was passed by the House of Representatives in July,  recently said that a COVID-19-related lack of access to child care was “holding our economy hostage.” 

Her observation is borne out by testimony collected in September by the state’s Commission on the Status of Women. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of women reported that COVID-19-related changes to child care arrangements had affected their ability to work. Included in this group were early care and education business owners themselves, who explained that if their own children could not attend school then they could not keep their businesses open. One reported that she was on the verge of losing her child care center, which had been serving her community for 17 years. 

Solutions such as Congresswoman Clark’s bill, which treats child care and early education programs as an essential public good requiring public investment, are key to ensuring that the sector doesn’t collapse under the weight of urgent needs from young families and their employers. Given the complex problems facing the field and early educators’ expertise and innovative approaches to problems of practice, it’s also important to center early educators in the policy making process."
Continue reading the article online

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Boston Globe: Norfolk County ranked as a healthy community by US News & World Report

From the Boston Globe, an article of interest for Franklin:
"Call Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket home? US News & World Report just ranked these two island communities the healthiest in the state.

In its third annual “500 Healthiest Communities” rankings, US News listed three Massachusetts counties in the top 100, taking into account economic, educational, and environmental factors, as well as other social determinants of health.

Dukes County, which represents six towns on Martha’s Vineyard and one on the Elizabeth Islands, was ranked 39th, followed by Nantucket County, which placed 62d. A little further down the list was Norfolk County, ranked 75th. The five communities that topped the list were Los Alamos County in New Mexico, Douglas County in Colorado, Falls Church city in Virginia, and Broomfield and Routt counties in Colorado.


Norfolk County, with a much bigger population of 670,850, received an overall score of 75, with population health, education, and economy scoring the highest, and equity scoring the lowest."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Friday, August 14, 2020

Washington Post: "The recession is over for the rich, but the working class is far from recovered"

From The Washington Post, an article of interest for Franklin:

"U.S. stocks are hovering near a record high, a stunning comeback since March that underscores the new phase the economy has entered: The wealthy have mostly recovered. The bottom half remain far from it.

This dichotomy is evident in many facets of the economy, especially in employment. Jobs are fully back for the highest wage earners, but fewer than half the jobs lost this spring have returned for those making less than $20 an hour, according to a new labor data analysis by John Friedman, an economics professor at Brown University and co-director of Opportunity Insights.

Though recessions almost always hit lower-wage workers the hardest, the pandemic is causing especially large gaps between rich and poor, and between White and minority households. It is also widening the gap between big and small businesses. Some of the largest companies, such as Nike and Best Buy, are enjoying their highest stock prices ever while many smaller businesses fight for survival."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
Washington Post: "The recession is over for the rich, but the working class is far from recovered"
Washington Post: "The recession is over for the rich, but the working class is far from recovered"

Thursday, May 10, 2018

MassBudget: Wages, incomes, and overcoming obstacles to economic opportunity

MassBudget  Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center  Democracy.

May 9, 2018
Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity:
Finding a Way Forward

Effective programs that help families make ends meet - like the Earned Income Tax Credit, SNAP, school lunches, and Social Security - cut the number of Massachusetts residents living in poverty by almost half. Such programs also cut the number of children living in poverty by more than half, according to a relatively new measure developed by the Census Bureau.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center's new report, Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward, finds that while effective public programs can help remove obstacles along the road to opportunity, good jobs play a central role in paving that road. While incomes of high-income households have grown considerably over the past several decades, this has not been the case for low and moderate-wage workers.
The report notes that national economic policies have allowed wages to stagnate and that important work support programs are at risk of being cut by the federal government. In some Massachusetts communities, more than one in four children lives below the official federal poverty line. Such conditions and a lack of resources create obstacles to opportunity for children.

MassBudget: Wages, incomes, and overcoming obstacles to economic opportunity

The report will be released today at a forum hosted by the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP). It contains a variety of usable data, including detailed data about municipalities across the Commonwealth. Read the report here.

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.


BOSTON, MA 02108

Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108

Sent by in collaboration with
Constant Contact

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Economic Development Committee - Dec 17, 2014

Economic Development Committee: Andy Bissanti (Chair), Bob Vallee, Matt Kelly, Peter Padula. 

Meeting location was changed to be held in the 3rd floor training room to accommodate the larger group present. Approx 24 folks in room. I was late to the room and if there was a formal acknowledgement of the committee at the meeting opening I missed it.

Open statement by Jeff Nutting providing an overview of the status of the RFP and the one response, not legal as it came in after time and added items not part of the original request.

Discussion effectively around should the RFP be re-issued? and if re-issued should it be re-issued as is, or modified. Modified to include a re-zoning of the property to include residential in a multi-use proposal.

There would be public hearings as part of the process for the zoning change. First before the Town Council as the bylaw change would be recommended to the Planning Board. There would be the Planning Board public hearing and due process. Ultimately assuming referred back to the Town Council, there are two additional readings (and hearings) for public input before final vote.

Discussion around the benefit of the apartments vs. condominiums (from a tax base perspective).
Traffic studies would be part of the approval process of what ever proposal is brought forward by a developer.

The larger concern is revenue for Franklin. How much revenue can the property bring to the community?

Planning Board Chair, Tony Padula said that the developer for the Starbucks hired an independent traffic consultant for a study. The Town also did their own study of traffic input. Both studies agreed the traffic should not be an issue for the area.

The real issue with the site is that the location and land is really located on water and next to the Charles River. That will limit what can be done on the land.

Andy Bissanti - The land is a beautiful piece of land, it is right near i495. It is underutilized. Putting it back out is the best thing to do. The residential component should be able to help 'sell' the property.

Discussion on including or not the residential component. Suggestion on putting it out without restrictions and see what someone may propose, maybe a use we have not considered.

Sandy Verhagen - What is the rush? If the land has been unused for 30+ years, what is wrong with waiting a little longer to get input from the community and do it right.

Joe Halligan - You can't say it is not going to be built, it can be built with mitigation (wider lanes, turn signals, etc.)

Peter Padula - All the hard questions need to asked here so we can do what is in the best interests of Franklin. What will come of it? I don't know but let's get it started.

Nutting - provides an overview of the next steps in the process (as summarized above)
In addition depending upon the nature of the proposal, the Conservation Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals maybe required.

Bissnti - motion to make recommendation to the full council on the proposed zoning change. Motion accepted. (Will check on committee members later - hard to determine who they are in the mix of folks present)

Second item on the agenda

Kelly- recused himself from this discussion but remained sitting in his same position

Nutting - provides a summary of Roger Calarese the developer who made the proposal for the Emmons St property

(photo to be added of rendering of his proposal)

Roger Calarese (right) and Jeff Nutting (left)  at Economic Development Committee meeting
Roger Calarese (right) and Jeff Nutting (left)  at Economic Development Committee meeting

Joe Halligan - I think we have beaten this property to death. This is going on forever. We know his work, His is the only proposal.

Lisa Piana - Downtown Partnership Executive Director - objects to the possibility of a food drive through.

Padula - I'd like to make the recommendation to bring this before the council for a full vote.

Jane Curran - objecting also to the possibility to of a food drive through

Padula - with draws his motion as he is confused. He had not realized that the proposal as written would allow for a food drive through. He had assumed it would be a bank drive through.

Bissanti - the EDC meeting had not restricted the RFP that Mr Calarese had responded to

Nutting - that is a policy decision. You can make the change and re-do, or are you going to restrict it as it moves forward?

Bissanti - I wanted it open as there are lots of potential uses and wanted to get the best option we could. I don't think we can dictate what the market says can go there.

Padula - Here is my proposal, I would not be in favor of any drive through with a food establishment on it.

Calarese - the site is too small for a Burger King or McDonald's. It could be a coffee shot but there are issues with the location and how it would fit. It is not a done deal.

Verhagen - I like to go to a downtown where I can spend time and money at a shop downtown. The money doesn't only have to come from the sale of the land it can come from the sales of the goods and services

Joe Halligan - for everyone that is against the project, there are likely going to be more that would be for the project.

Beth Simon - I am here not be to against something. I am here to ensure that the integrity of the town is maintained. I change the color of my signs (Simon's Furniture) and I got calls from folks talking about the 'new' signs. The signs have been there for years. All I did was change the color so I am glad they got noticed.

Brian Kelly - let's be clear about what we are talking about. is it a drive through or sit down place?

Calarese - I don't see that as a detriment that a brand could be located on the corner, someone could in to Town to do something at Dean, see the sign, drive through, and then go to their event. Students could cross from campus almost everyday all year.

Susan Dewsnap - That is going to be an extremely busy intersection. You got a ton of traffic going through there.

Joe Halligan - all the improvements downtown are not going to increase the traffic, it is supposed to help improve the through put? The traffic will still go through the town

Lisa Piana - the streetscape is coming and that will be making changes to the traffic. Let's wait and see what will happen after that project is done.

Bissanti - this has been beat to death. He submitted an RFP with a drive through. I think we need to move this forward. We are going to get another bite at it when it comes to the Council.

Halligan - you have to give something to the developer to get something that will improve the estetics

Recommendation to go forward for discussion at the next Council meeting

move to adjourn, passed

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Important Emmons St Meeting WEDNESDAY - 5:30 pm

The Economic Development Committee will be making their recommendations for the RFP on Emmons Street property on Wednesday.

At the last meeting they discussed cutting the greenspace and leaving in the possibility of a drive-thru. They are very interested in citizens input, but people need to attend the meeting.

Emmons Street Property Discussion
Economic Development Committee Meeting
Wednesday, September 3rd
5:30 pm-Town Hall meeting room-3rd floor

Committee will decide on specific recommendations to be included in the RFP
Public encouraged to attend

150 Emmons St
150 Emmons St

This is a reprint of the Downtown Partnership notice posted earlier


Friday, September 21, 2012

a national embarrassment or high performing?

The Milford Daily News got to meet with the candidates for the 10th Norfolk District on Thursday. They report on the different picture that the two candidates have of the MA economy:
Despite the state boasting some of the best schools and hospitals in the country, Eustis said, it has still failed to attract new companies. 
"None of these businesses want to be here anymore," he said. "So you have to ask yourself, ‘Why is that?’ And the answer inevitably leads to Beacon Hill." 
Eustis blamed higher tax rates, saying they drive businesses out and keep them from wanting to set up shop. 
Roy, on the other hand, had a more sanguine outlook on the state’s economy. 
"Massachusetts is one of the higher-performing states," he said, listing its AA+ bond rating and 6.3 percent unemployment rate, lower than the national rate of 8.1 percent.

Read more:

Monday, June 18, 2012

"incentives to sweeten the deal"

The Milford Daily News writes about the use of the TIF by local communities to help businesses:
... Tax Increment Financing agreements, commonly called TIFs. 
The deals, agreed upon between a municipality and a business, give companies a break on property taxes on new value they add to a property. 
The tax breaks start off larger at the beginning of a deal, then decrease over the life of the agreement, until the company is paying 100 percent of the taxes on the property. 
The tax breaks do not apply to already existing value — only to whatever value a company may add to a property.

Read more:

Franklin has used the TIF to help with local businesses:
Hamilton Storage Technology received a TIF as approved by the Town Council in Sep 2011

The TIF was discussed during the Economic Development Summit

Franklin created the Economic Development Area and the TIF back in 2008