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Moody's declares the recession in Massachusetts is over - much ado about nothing?

Jobs losses at Shaw's due to a strike; planned 4% lay-off in April
Jobs losses at Shaw's due to a strike; planned 4% lay-off in April

Moody's, a renowned provider and analyst of economic data has declared that the recession is Massachusetts is over.

As reported on the front page of the Boston Globe on Marcy 24th, 2010, Moody's data is based on increased home sales, a modest gain in jobs (1,500 in February), and increase in stock markets.

Comments on, seemed to disagree, as readers weighed in, most were skeptical, as were the follow people the examiner asked:

Marie, holds an MBA and works for a large international company "Well, let's put it this way.  We were promised a bonus in January and it hasn't come yet.  We've already been told our annual raises will be about 1%.  The executives may be seeing extra money, but none of it has trickled down to the workers yet."

Leigh works as a server at an up-scale dining establishment:  "People are ordering water with lemon instead of cocktails now.  We're also seeing more and more splitting of entrees - a two for one approach to keeping the check down.  Tips have decreased too - I used to make $250 on a Saturday night, now I'm lucky to make $150.  Last week, I had a table leave a $2 tip on a $40 check"

Lily, and events planner living in Concord, has been laid off for about a year and has started her own company.  "Everyone want a $25,000 event, but wants to pay $8,000 for it.  I can do events on the cheap, but the quality and corporate branding will not be as elegant."

Lily's husband, David, who is in medical device sales has this to say "Sales are down, commission checks are down.  It's hard to keep the kids in college or even live the frugal Yankee lifestyle we're used to.  Vacations are local, and dining out now means take-out."

An aide for Senator Panagiotakos, who is chairman of the Ways and Means committee, said "what?  I haven't read the article yet, but that is some cautious optimism"

An aide at Senator Kerry's office said something similar "wow, they are optimistic."

The Boston Globe has published several articles this week to support this theory that the recession in Massachusetts is not quite over yet.

On March 24, the Globe ran an article about Curt Schilling's video game company, 38 Studios, which is located in Maynard, but is looking at other states for tax incentives.  If 38 Studios moves out of state that means about 100 jobs would be lost.

Shaw's has begun hiring replacement workers for the 300 employees on strike at the Methuen distribution center and is not legally obligated to fire the replacement workers when the striking workers decide to return to work.  Result - 300 new jobs at a lower pay rate and potentially 300 current employees out of work.

In other Shaw's news, the Globe reported on March 25, that the company will lay-off 4% of it's workers in New England, but it has nothing to do with the strike. 

Friday March 26, it was reported that "Massachusetts housing rebound maybe elusive" A housing rebound was one of the factors used by Moody's to conclude the that the recession is over in Massachusetts.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

Cecilia can be reached at


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