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The Boston Globe

Business

5.2% Mass. jobless rate forecast in 2017

The state’s economic expansion, after advancing in fits and starts through 2013, should solidify next year and begin a period of steady but modest job growth, according to a new forecast.

Released Wednesday by the New England Economic Partnership, it estimates employment in the state will increase at an average annual rate of 1.4 percent, or about 45,000 to 50,000 jobs a year, through 2017. By the end of next year, the total number of people employed in the state should surpass the record high, reached in 2001 shortly before the dot-com bubble burst, according to the nonprofit forecasting group.

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