Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, FAS
Many people in Massachusetts are talking about the need to attract and retain young workers, but we are hardly sending out the welcome wagon. As the Globe reported recently, the Census Bureau estimates that the number of Massachusetts homeowners between ages 25 and 34 dropped by nearly 32,000 — or 19 percent — between 2005 and 2010. This massive decline reminds us that, despite our abundance of colleges, the Commonwealth remains inhospitable to young talent. I agree with those who would like less regulation of nightclubs and food trucks, but the larger problem is over-regulation of new housing, especially in suburbs near the urban core.
The Commonwealth's economy is doing reasonably well, which should make it a magnet for the skilled and ambitious. In April, our unemployment rate was down to 6.3 percent. Our state's gross domestic product increased in real terms by 6.5 percent between 2009 and 2011, leading the Northeast. According to the Case-Shiller Housing Price Index, the Boston area's housing prices have only declined by 17 percent since their December 2005 peak, which represents remarkable resiliency during an historic housing collapse.
Glaeser, Edward L. "Young Workers Can’t Afford Homes in the State." Boston Globe, June 14, 2012.