BOSTON — By 2030, Massachusetts could need up to 200,000 more housing units and a “large influx” of child care workers, office real estate demand could fall by as much as 20 percent, and hundreds of thousands of people could need to transition into new jobs or occupational categories, according to a new state report.

About a year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shift in the way people think about work as many jobs became remote and others adapted to new limitations, the Baker administration in March awarded McKinsey & Co. a nearly $1.6 million contract to study the “future of work” in the Bay State.

The 82-page report, released Tuesday, found that changing ways of working could move the “center of gravity” in Massachusetts away from its urban core, and high costs of living and doing business here create a risk of future job growth moving out-of-state.

Discussing the findings during a press conference at BioLabs’ Tufts Launchpad location in Boston, Gov. Charlie Baker said the analysis “gives us a roadmap for how we can take tangible steps to make sure that Massachusetts can continue to grow and thrive in a post-pandemic world.”

He used the report to once again pitch his plan for spending $2.9 billion federal funds, including $1 billion towards housing and $240 million for workforce training. Baker has been pushing to quickly invest more than half of the state’s American Rescue Plan Act allocation, but lawmakers are taking a slower approach.

House Speaker Ronald Mariano said last week that he expects those hearings on ARPA spending priorities, run by the Joint Ways and Means Committee, to start this month.

“The plan addresses many of the key needs that were presented in the report,” Baker said. “It focuses on building up the commonwealth’s housing stock, on supporting its workforce, on dealing with some of the dislocation that will take place in downtown economies, and continuing to address a variety of key infrastructures. These are urgent priorities, which are only underscored by the findings in this report.”

The 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.”

Baker and Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta each pointed to the report’s estimate that 300,000 to 400,000 workers could need to transition to different occupations or occupational categories over the next decade if the pandemic-accelerated trends around automation, e-commerce and digitization continue.

“This isn’t some distant, academic question that

The tourism and hospitality sector has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, facing sharp declines in business that will be slow to recover without additional state action, industry leaders told lawmakers on Friday.

A parade of speakers outlined a dire economic picture at a Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development Committee hearing aimed at learning about the pandemic’s impact. The widespread job losses and drop in spending, they warned, could take years to rebound, impacting workers across the state as well as tax revenues.

Industry groups representing restaurants, hotels and motels, cultural organizations, event venues, and tourism promotion urged the panel to boost spending on recovery grants, advertisement programs aimed at encouraging travel to Massachusetts, and support for regional tourism councils.

“We’re not going to be able to wish, pray and hope our way out of this pandemic,” said Martha Sheridan, president of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It’s just not going to happen. The only way we’re going to get out of it is if we remain competitive and invest strategically in tourism promotion.”


Total consumer spending in Massachusetts in March was about 10 percent higher than in January 2020, but it remained 15 percent below that level for restaurants and hotels and 45 percent down for entertainment and recreation, according to data that Undersecretary of Business Growth Mark Fuller presented at a Friday committee hearing.

The Baker administration has distributed more than $650 million in relief grants to about 14,400 businesses so far, and cultural nonprofits received almost $10 million through a separate grant program in January.

The federal government also launched a new $16 billion grant program on Thursday for shuttered venues, aiming to assist live venue operators, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, movie theater operators, and talent representatives affected by mandatory closures.

Industry leaders want the Legislature to supplement those programs. A top priority several cited is a bill that would direct at least $200 million from the billions in federal stimulus funding Massachusetts received to help cultural organizations recover.

The funding would be distributed by the Massachusetts Cultural Council in the form of grants to both nonprofit and for-profit cultural organizations that could be used for payroll, rent and other expenses, adapting programming to cope with COVID, and investing in technology and infrastructure for safe reopening.

Through Friday, 51 lawmakers had cosponsored the bill, which was authored by Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development Committee Co-chairman Sen. Edward Kennedy of Lowell.

Another major change many said they want to see is a clearer timeline for business restrictions. Knowing when allowable gathering limits will increase would encourage many tipped workers in the industry to return to the workforce, speakers said, and would give event venues enough lead time to ramp up operations.

“If those employees don’t see that gathering numbers are going up and in fact the number of people they’ll be serving is increasing, which will have a direct corresponding increase on their wages, the desire to