The fastest job growth will occur in construction, as housing and commercial real estate markets rebound, as well as in two technology related sectors, professional and business services and information services, and leisure and hospitality, according to forecasts.

The economy will “slowly accelerate, and by the end of the year we should have stronger growth,” said Northeastern University economist Alan Clayton-Matthews. He added, “The worst may be now.”

A slow pace of hiring marked the final months of 2012 for Massachusetts as concerns about how Congress would manage the combination of tax increases and budget cuts known as the fiscal cliff led both consumers and businesses to hold back on spending. The continued economic struggles in Europe, the state’s largest export market, also had a si