1. Defense industry jobs are critical to Western Massachusetts economy but often overlooked

    Defense industry jobs are critical to Western Massachusetts economy but often overlooked
    Even as the overall economy has struggled in the face of two recessions and fundamental industry shifts, defense has surged ahead. Total defense related economic activity in Massachusetts has increased 146 percent in less than a decade, from $10.6 billion in 2001 to $26 billion in 2009. During that same period, the number of employees supported by the defense sector has grown by nearly 50,000 jobs - an increase of more than 70 percent.
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