City of Worcester, MA in the winter

Reports - Economic Development

Our reports on community and economic development discuss ways in which to expand the tax base, increase employment opportunities, and revitalize neighborhoods and the downtown. Their purpose is to suggest ways to improve Worcester and the surrounding region as a place to live, work, and raise families.

Reports, articles and forms are available as a PDF downloadPDF icon, unless otherwise noted. Click here to download the free Adobe Reader application.

2014 Reports

Worcester by the Numbers: Public and Charter Schools

This report, the fourth in our series Worcester by the Numbers, provides important data on the Worcester Public Schools and Charter Schools, including demographics, teacher salaries, test scores, graduation rates, and expenditures.

2013 Reports

Worcester by the Numbers: Housing and Land Use

This report, the third in our series Worcester by the Numbers, provides detailed data on the housing market, land use, and property taxes.

Worcester by the Numbers: Economy and Jobs

This report, the second in our series Worcester by the Numbers, is generously underwritten by MassDevelopment, and focuses on Worcester's economy and jobs during the past decade. It provides data on industries that are growing and shrinking, unemployment, wages, and number of establishments by industry.

Worcester's Demographic Trends: 2010 Census

This report analyzes Worcester's demographic, education, employment, income, and other trends based on data from the 2010 Census. The data indicate fairly substantial changes in the City's population over the past couple of decades measured by a number of different indicators.

2012 Reports

Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester: 2012

This report, generously underwritten by MassDevelopment, examines the economic health of the city and region from a variety of angles such as the tax base and the labor and housing markets.

2011 Reports

Downtown Worcester Office Occupancy: 2011 Survey

The Research Bureau’s annual analysis of office occupancy rates in downtown Worcester and detailed listing of office space available for lease.

Detailed Property Listing (Appendix)

 

2010 Reports

Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester: 2010

This report, generously underwritten by MassDevelopment, contains updated information for the following performance indicators: the value of the City's tax base, property tax rates, new construction values, employment and labor force growth, the downtown office occupancy rate, and vacant and abandoned properties.

Downtown Worcester Office Occupancy: 2010 Survey

Annual analysis of downtown office occupancy rates in Worcester's Central Business District and detailed listing of office space available for lease.

Detailed Property Listing (Appendix A)

 

2009 Reports

Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester: 2009

This report, generously underwritten by MassDevelopment, contains updated information for the following performance indicators: the value of the City's tax base, property tax rates, new construction values, employment and labor force growth, the downtown office occupancy rate, and vacant, abandoned, and foreclosed properties.

Downtown Worcester Office Occupancy: 2009 Survey

Annual analysis of downtown office occupancy rates in Worcester's Central Business District and detailed listing of office space available for lease.

Detailed Property Listing (Appendix A)

 

2008 Reports

Measuring Downtown Worcester's "Curb Appeal:" ComNET Results

This report complements The Research Bureau's recently-released report, "What's Up With Downtown Worcester?: Prospects for Revitalization." Discussed are the results of the Downtown ComNET (Computerized Neighborhood Environment Tracking) survey, which tracks the physical condition of a neighborhood, including streets, sidewalks, and buildings

What's Up With Downtown Worcester?: Prospects for Revitalization

This report discusses the progress that downtown Worcester has made over the last decade and the projects proposed for the near future. After assessing certain challenges to revitalization, The Research Bureau makes some recommendations about how to strengthen the prospects for further progress in downtown Worcester.

Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester: 2008

This report, generously underwritten by MassDevelopment, contains updated information for the following performance indicators: the value of the City's tax base, property tax rates, new construction values, employment and labor force growth, the downtown office occupancy rate, and vacant, abandoned, and foreclosed properties.

Downtown Worcester Office Occupancy: 2008 Survey

Annual analysis of downtown office occupancy rates in Worcester's Central Business District and detailed listing of office space available for lease.

Detailed property listings (Appendix A)

 

2007 Reports

Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester: 2007

This report contains updated information for the following performance indicators: the value of the City's tax base, property tax rates, new construction values, employment and labor force growth, the downtown office occupancy rate, and vacant and abandoned buildings.

Downtown Worcester Office Occupancy: 2007 Survey

This report discusses the progress that downtown Worcester has made over the last decade and the projects proposed for the near future. After assessing certain challenges to revitalization, The Research Bureau makes some recommendations about how to strengthen the prospects for further progress in downtown Worcester.

Detailed property listings (Appendix A)

 

Voluntary Contributions to the City of Springfield by its Private Colleges:
Findings and Suggestions

This report examines the value and nature of tax-exempt property in Springfield, the financial health of the City and the individual colleges, the services and benefits provided by the colleges to Springfield and its residents, the municipal services that the colleges use, as well as describing PILOT programs (and state local aid programs) in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

2006 Reports

Measures of Economic Health: Springfield vs. Worcester

This analysis, prepared for the Springfield Finance Control Board, examines a wide range of factors related to the rate of tax base growth in Springfield and Worcester, including: population characteristics; property values, tax rates, new growth, and tax levies; labor force and labor market characteristics; housing prices; and public safety/crime trends.

Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester: 2006

Sixth annual report tracking economic development in Worcester.

Downtown Worcester Office Occupancy: 2006 Survey

Annual analysis of downtown office occupancy rates in Worcester's Central Business District and detailed listing of office space available for lease.

Talent Retention Project: Central Massachusetts

Identifies correlations between talent retention and economic prosperity in the region.

Destination Worcester: What's the "Convention-al Wisdom?"

Analysis of and recommendations for attracting more multi-day conventions and events to Worcester.

2005 Reports

Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester: 2005

Fifth annual report benchmarking economic development in Worcester.

Downtown Worcester Office Occupancy Survey 2005

Annual analysis of downtown office occupancy rates in Worcester's Central Business District.

2004 Reports

Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester: 2004

Fourth annual report benchmarking economic development in Worcester.

Downtown Worcester Office Occupancy Survey

Annual analysis of downtown office occupancy rates in Worcester's Central Business District.

Will PILOTs Fly in Worcester? Taxing Nonprofits and Other Options

Examines potential costs and benefits of a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) in Worcester. Worcester is compared with other cities that have instituted PILOTs including Boston, Cambridge, and Providence. It is an update of a 1997 report.

2003 Reports

Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester: 2003

Third annual report benchmarking economic development in Worcester. Contains data on Worcester's commercial and residential real estate market, as well as job market and labor force trends.

Downtown Worcester Office Occupancy 2003

Annual analysis of downtown office occupancy rates in Worcester's Central Business District.

2002 Reports

The Role of Regional Planning Agencies in Facilitating Economic Development

After reviewing the work of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission in facilitating economic development in the Pioneer Valley, the Research Bureau encourages the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission to implement several recommendations.

Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester: 2002

Second annual report benchmarking economic development in Worcester.

The Case for a Regional Economic Development Alliance in the Greater Worcester Area

Recommendation for a private sector-initiated organization in the southern part of Worcester County to be called the Worcester Regional Economic Development Alliance (WREDA).

Downtown Worcester Office Occupancy: 2002 Survey

Annual analysis of downtown office occupancy rates in Worcester’s Central Business District.

A Guide to Regional Organizations in the Greater Worcester Area

Basic information on the 49 organizations that provide regional services in central Massachusetts.

2001 Reports

Benchmarking Economic Development in Worcester

First in a series of annual reports documenting trends in economic development in Worcester.

2000 Reports

Proposals for Promoting Economic Development in Worcester

Discusses recent changes in Worcester's approach to economic development and the opportunity they provide to strengthen both accountability and coordination between various economic development agencies.

Revitalizing Worcester's Neighborhoods: Recommendations from Research Bureau Forums and Reports

In light of the deteriorating condition of many City neighborhoods and lack of a strategy to address these problems, the Research Bureau sponsored a series of forums on neighborhood revitalization in the Spring of 2000. This report relates some of the policy recommendations from these forums.

1999 Reports

Proposals for Reducing Worcester's Tax Rate

In order to reduce Worcester's extraordinarily high tax rate, a hindrance to attracting and expanding commercial and industrial development, the Research Bureau urges City officials to adopt a policy of gradually reducing the commercial/industrial and residential tax rates over a period of years.

Proposals for Revitalizing Downtown Worcester

Drawing from the successes of 5 cities whose downtown areas face similar challenges to that of Worcester's, this report recommendations specific steps to revitalize downtown Worcester.

1998 Reports

Revisiting Worcester's Zoning Ordinance

This report discusses the role of Worcester's zoning ordinance in stimulating development.

1997 Reports

Facilitating the Cleanup and Development of Worcester's Brownfield

 

Payments in Lieu of Taxes: Arguments For and Against

An overview of payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) programs, through which private, non profit organizations holding tax exempt properties make voluntary payments to the municipality in which they are located.

Distressed Property in Worcester: The Problems and the Options

Discusses Worcester's distressed-property problems, such as abandoned buildings, property neglect and vacant lots , and their adverse social and economic impact on City neighborhoods.

1996 Reports

The Role and Impact of Community Development Block Grants in Worcester

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1995 Reports

Competing for Economic Development: What can Worcester do?

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1988 Reports

Whither Worcester?: Part I, Planning the City's Future

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Whither Worcester?: Part II, Developing the City's Future

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