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Slow New England Job Growth Seen Lagging U.S. Gains

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File photo of employees working in an office. (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

File photo of employees working in an office. (Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — An economic outlook says New England’s jobs recovery will continue to be slow, set back by federal spending cuts and reduced consumer demand.

The report released Wednesday by the New England Economic Partnership says economic growth of 3 percent through 2017 is less than what’s considered even moderate.

Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire are expected to continue to boast the strongest economies in the region in the next four years.

Employment growth of 2 percent in the six states will be below the national average. Massachusetts has recovered the jobs lost in the 2007-2009 recession and Vermont will soon follow.

Rhode Island is expected to have the region’s highest unemployment rate, 6.1 percent, by 2017.

Housing is a bright spot as home prices and sales rise, boosting construction and related industries.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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