Forecast predicts New England could lose 250,000 jobs

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New England is sliding into a "significant recession" and is expected to lose a quarter-million jobs during the rest of the decade.

Economists at the New England Economic Partnership forecast yesterday that unemployment in the region would rise to its highest level since 1992, hitting more than 8 percent by mid-2010.

The 250,000 job loss is about 3.6 percent of the region’s employment, which will decline for the rest of the decade and then flatten out through 2011.

NEEP releases its economic forecasts twice a year.

Rhode Island is expected to top the list, peaking at 10.3 percent unemployment, while Vermont and New Hampshire unemployment rates would increase the least.

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