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‘Blue Economy’ jobs, housing are key to attracting younger workers, expert says

On January 23, Economic & Public Policy Research Director Mark Melnik delivered an economic forecast to the Hynannis Chamber of Commerce.

Melnik contrasted the growth of the state's economy with that of Cape Cod. 

“Knowledge-based industries are driving job growth in the state,” said Mark Melnik, director of Economic and Public Policy Research at the UMass Donahue Institute. In contrast, the Cape & Islands presently has a low concentration of knowledge-based industries and high concentration in the retail and construction trades.

The contrast continued when Melnik discussed population trends.

While the median age in Massachusetts is 39.5, in Barnstable County it’s 53. By 2040, Melnik said, 24.3 percent of the Cape’s population is projected to be age 65 or older.

These local trends can be partially addressed by housing on the Cape.

The cost of housing and the region’s aging population are significant policy concerns for the Cape and Islands, Melnik said. “To grow your economy, attracting younger workers is critical. The Blue Economy can serve that role” by expanding job availability beyond the leisure and hospitality industries.

Read article: ‘Blue Economy’ jobs, housing are key to attracting younger workers, expert says

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