Regional Update (January-March 1997)

Index The state of the states Views from the region Southeastern manufacturing survey Southeastern economic indicators

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The State of the States
T he following is a brief overview of the major economic events and trends in each southeastern state during the last quarter of 1996:

  • Strength in the northern part of the state has led to an acceleration of overall job growth after two years of decline.
  • Losses in the apparel industry continue to depress manufacturing employment.
  • Total payroll growth is again accelerating, now outpacing the nation by almost a percentage point, year-over-year.
  • Strength in the economy is widespread across sectors, with only manufacturing losing jobs, and even that at a notably slower rate than in late 1996.
  • As expected, the end of the Olympics resulted in a dramatic slowdown.
  • Fundamental strength in the state remains. For example, Georgia is the only state in the district to show year-over-year job growth in manufacturing.
  • Louisiana's economy is beginning to accelerate again, although metro New Orleans remains quite soft.
  • The energy sector, along with petroleum-related production, is spurring noticeable income gains.
  • Mississippi continues on the slow side of the gambling boom, with mild net job losses for the year.
  • Construction and services remain the two sectors with positive job growth, largely powered by ancillary development associated with casinos.
  • Manufacturing employment growth in Tennessee has been negative recently, largely a consequence of a slowdown in the auto industry combined with an overall short supply of workers.
  • Total employment growth in the state has slowed to just under district and national rates but with no real weakness outside of manufacturing.
Compiled by the regional section of the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.