Sixteen months after COVID-19 first shuttered many businesses and other physical spaces and forced a shift in the way people think about work, a new state report released Tuesday concludes that the changes may shift the “center of gravity” in Massachusetts away from its urban cores and that high costs of living and doing business create a risk of future job growth moving out-of-state.
The 82-page report features a series of “core insights, including a possible drop in demand for office real estate, a need for child care business models to evolve to provide flexible options, a decline in commuter rail and other public-transit ridership, reduced levels of business travel and corresponding impacts on the hospitality and airline industries, and the need for reskilling of workers at “an unprecedented scale and pace.”
It says the state’s population is likely to grow, though more slowly than pre-pandemic levels, that existing equity challenges will intensify, and that “housing options that work for all will be key to retaining and attracting people into the state.”
To address high costs, the report — which is based on analysis, research and interviews conducted by McKinsey & Company — estimates that the state will need up to 200,000 additional housing units by 2030 and up to 30,000 additional child care workers. Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta plan to discuss the report and “proposed investments” at a livestreamed 9 a.m. press conference from the Tufts Launchpad Biolabs in Boston.
(Copyright (c) 2021 State House News Service.