For Economic Resilience, Massachusetts Relies on Highly Educated, Adaptive Labor Force

July 24, 2012

Massachusetts economy has shown considerable resilience compared with  other states, observes Robert Nakosteen, a professor at Isenberg and Executive Editor of MassBenchmarks, a journal devoted to the state's economy and published by the UMass Donahue Institute in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. "During the last two years, we've exceeded national GDP and our unemployment rate, which continues to fall, has been consistently lower than the nation's. All that during a disappointing national and global economic recovery," he remarks.

 

How to account for the Bay State's economic durability? "Without question, it begins with our labor force, one of the nation's best educated and most adaptable," Nakosteen emphasizes. "Our system of higher education, UMass and Isenberg included, is adept at generating a deep supply of graduates with high-tech and business-savvy skills. By and large, those skills are readily transferrable to emerging technologies and business opportunities. Back in the 1980s, Massachusetts, with companies like Digital and Wang, was the world leader in minicomputing. When microcomputing did away with that industry, the Massachusetts workforce agilely joined the winners as leaders, not as followers."