Marlborough residents are receiving two early Christmas gifts from the state in terms of positive economic data.
Officials from the Department of Revenue are announcing that that income tax rate will be lowered on Jan. 1, 2012. The rate, currently at 5.3 percent, will fall to 5.25 because state tax collections rose at a sufficient rate to trigger the reduction.
“This is great news for the taxpayers of Massachusetts,” said state Sen. Barry Finegold. “Growing revenues have allowed the state to give taxpayers a break, something that is much valued in these tough economic times. Being that this is the first tax cut in 10 years, I think that says a lot about the stability of the Commonwealth at this time.”
The second piece of good news comes from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, which announced Massachusetts businesses added 5,000 new jobs in the month of November, helping to slice the unemployment rate in the Bay State to 7.0 percent. That’s down from 7.3 percent in October, 8.3 percent in December 2010.
Locally, lawmakers are seeing positive signs of a recovering economy.
“Metrowest is a region that is still attracting companies and employees, and I’ve attended a number of ribbon-cuttings for new businesses in Marlborough recently,” said State Senator Jamie Eldridge. “When I’ve attended Chamber of Commerce events, some small business people express cautious optimism about their businesses growing. These are all good signs that the local economy is on the mend.”
These numbers indicate the lowest the Massachusetts unemployment rate has been since December 2008, but there are still many without jobs who desperately need them.
“On the other hand, I do talk almost every day to someone who is unemployed, or underemployed,” continued Eldridge.” Just the other day, I met with the Littleton Job Seekers, a group of local unemployed workers, about their lives and concerns. Some of these people have been searching for a job for over two years; others have just recently been laid off.”
Though the recent news is encouraging, Eldridge said the economy has a ways to go.
“So although I think we’re moving in the right direction here in the Metrowest, there’s still cause for concern and work to be done to grow our economy when this many people are unemployed,” he said.