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BUSINE$$ BRIEFS: Remodeling Down, Exodus Up, Gambling on Training & More | Franklin Observer



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Remodeling Still Trending Down 

Annual expenditures for improvements and repairs to owner-occupied homes are projected to decrease this year and into the first quarter of 2025, but at a moderating rate, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects that annual owner spending for home renovations and maintenance will decline by over 7 percent in the third quarter of this year before easing to just -2.6 percent through the first quarter of 2025. “Residential remodeling is expected to benefit from the rebounding housing market and stabilizing material costs as we move into next year,” says Carlos Martín, Project Director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Center. “While home improvement and repair spending is down from pandemic-induced highs, the nation’s aging homes continue to need investment in critical replacements, home performance deficiencies, as well as modernization.” “At $451 billion, spending on homeowner improvements and repairs over the coming year is anticipated to be slightly lower than the $463 billion spent over the last year,” says Abbe Will, Associate Project Director of the Remodeling Futures Program. “Yet, the remodeling downturn is poised to be fairly modest and short-lived with market expenditures steadying at near-record levels.” 

Mass Exodus in Full Swing 

Recently, the Boston Globe reported on an analysis made by Boston Indicators that shows in every category—race, age, and socioeconomic status—there are more people leaving Massachusetts than entering. They’re leaving for a better quality of life. While many of the headlines have pointed to housing costs as a top culprit, there are plenty of contributing factors and the state’s Republicans lost no time in making the connection. MassGOP Chairwoman Amy Carnevale, explained that, “Democrats tax life necessities, innovation, and success. They tax you for driving a car, regulate, and tax developers for wanting to build. If you’re successful enough to afford to live in Massachusetts, they look to levy additional taxes on your wealth. It’s Democrats’ taxes and regulations that drive up costs in the Commonwealth, making it unaffordable for folks to live here. That’s why people are leaving.” Enough said. 

Gambling to Fund Training 

During a recent public meeting, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) voted to fund a pair of Workforce Development Grants through the MGC’s Community Mitigation Fund (CMF). Those initiatives aim to provide comprehensive career training opportunities to individuals living in the vicinity of Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield. The applicants – the MassHire Metro North Workforce Board and Holyoke Community College’s Adult Education and Workforce Development Program – were each awarded $750,000 for their respective projects. “The grants that have been awarded from the Community Mitigation Fund to these important workforce development initiatives will empower individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue rewarding career opportunities,” said Interim MGC Chair Jordan Maynard. “The Community Mitigation Fund serves a vital role at the MGC and throughout the Commonwealth, providing robust, tangible impacts for citizens and communities across Massachusetts.”  

Unemployment Still Low

The state’s March total unemployment rate was 2.9 percent, unchanged from the revised February estimate of 2.9 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday. The Massachusetts unemployment rate was 0.9 percentage points lower than the national rate of 3.8 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.6 percentage points. The labor force increased by an estimated 8,300 from the revised estimate of 3,748,700 in February, with 11,300 residents more employed and 3,000 fewer residents unemployed over-the-month. The state’s labor force participation rate – the total number of residents 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks – increased 0.1 percentage point over-the-month, to 64.9 percent. Compared to March 2023, the labor force participation rate was down 0.3 percentage points. The BLS preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 2,900 jobs in March. This follows February’s revised gain of 5,000 jobs. The largest over-the-month private sector job gains were in Education and Health Services, Leisure and Hospitality, and Other Services. Employment now stands at 3,740,500. Massachusetts gained 677,000 jobs since the employment low in April 2020. 

Franklin Included on List of Best Cities to Start a Business 

But Franklin, Wisconsin, not, Franklin, Massachusetts. The WalletHub study compared the business-friendliness of more than 1,300 small-sized cities. The looked at 18 key metrics ranges from the growth rate of the number of small businesses to investor access and labor costs.

Connecting Women Leaders: Spring Pop-Up Shopping Soiree

(From Tri-County Regional Chamber) Ladies, get ready to indulge in an evening of shopping and splendor at our Spring Pop-Up Shopping Soiree!
Join us to support and celebrate local women-owned businesses.

Open to all women, this event is the perfect opportunity to mingle, network, and find unique items from a fabulous array of vendors. Whether you’re updating your wardrobe, searching for home decor, or looking for that perfect gift, you’ll find it all here!

No cost to attend, simply enjoy browsing with a drink in hand from our cash bar and treat yourself to some fabulous food.

Don’t miss out on this exclusive shopping experience. Come support, shop, and celebrate with us!

Thank you to our host: The Willows at Medway

Venue The Willows at Medway
Address 44 Willow Pond CircleMedway MA 02053, US
Starts Wed May 1 2024, 05:00pm EDT
Ends Wed May 1 2024, 07:00pm EDT

Register Now!

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