Business Digest for 8/1/13
Report: Mass. economy slumps in second quarter
A new report finds the Massachusetts economy slowed sharply during the second quarter and failed to match the pace of growth on the national level. According to the latest MassBenchmarks Current Economic Index, the state's gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 0.8 percent from April to June. That compares to a far more robust first quarter of 2013 when the Massachusetts economy grew at an annual rate of 2.8 percent. The U.S. Labor Department reported this week that the nation's GDP grew at a rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter, up from 1.1 percent in the January-March quarter. MassBenchmarks, a journal of the Massachusetts economy published by the UMass Donahue Institute, said the state appears to be absorbing a disproportionate share of federal budget cuts.
New England unemployment rate at 7.1 percent
The unemployment rate in New England was 7.1 percent for June 2013, according to the New England Information Office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. One year ago, the New England rate was 7.3 percent. Nationally, the jobless rate was unchanged from a month ago at 7.6 percent in June, and was 0.6 percentage point lower when compared to one year earlier. New England is one of nine geographic divisions nationwide. During June, the East North Central division reported the highest jobless rate, 8.2 percent, while the West North Central division again registered the lowest unemployment rate, 5.4 percent. Three of the six New England states posted jobless rates that were significantly different from that of the United States during June 2013. Vermont (4.4 percent) and New Hampshire (5.2 percent) recorded significantly lower unemployment rates and were among 19 states in the country to do so. On the other hand, Rhode Island (8.9 percent) was among nine states and the District of Columbia with rates measurably higher than that of the United States. Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts were among the remaining 22 states which registered unemployment rates not appreciably different from that of the nation. Two New England states recorded a statistically significant unemployment rate change over the month: Massachusetts (+0.4 percentage point) and Vermont (+0.3 percentage point). Over the year, two New England states reported a statistically significant unemployment rate change: Rhode Island (-1.7 percentage points), and Vermont (-0.7 percentage point). Nationally, 13 additional states reported statistically significant unemployment rate changes from June 2012, all of which were declines.
Sheraton Framingham Hotel celebrates 40th anniversary
The Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and this month is also unveiling its multimillion-dollar renovation. The occasion of the hotel’s 40th anniversary begins in September and includes special events, gifts and promotions. For the months of September and October, select guests will receive 40 percent off particular accommodations while select room numbers get a special amenity. On-property events include a 40th birthday cocktail in the recently renovated Postern Grille restaurant as well as ruby red cocktails to highlight that ruby is the color commemorating 40 years. During October, daily gourmet popcorn socials will be held at 4 p.m. in the new lobby. Guests born in 1973 can pay a "birth year special" while each day, every 40th guest to check in will receive a special surprise treat. Mary Salvia is also celebrating 40 years with the hotel and currently serves as banquet manager. Also, 40 bins have been set up in the hotel in which people can donate personal care and nonperishable food items. The items will go to MetroWest Harvest, a Framingham-based food rescue program. The hotel is at 1657 Worcester Road (Rte. 9 west), Framingham. For more information, visit SheratonFramingham.com.