Regional Update (April-June 1997)

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

Cover Story - Chinese Crawfish Reduce Louisiana Market Share

Building the Capital of the New South: A Review of Atlanta Rising

The State of the States
T he following is a brief overview of recent economic events and trends in the six states of the Sixth Federal Reserve District.

  • Alabama's gradual slowdown now seems to have bottomed out as manufacturing job losses have dramatically slowed because auto production has offset apparel losses.
  • The northern part of the state, fueled by the production of the new Mercedes vehicle, continues to generate jobs across most sectors.
  • Florida's economy is again outperforming both the national and the southeastern average.
  • Most of the strength is coming from services and wholesale and retail trade, but the manufacturing sector is also showing some persistent (if slight) growth.
  • The post-Olympic slowdown is well under way, with the state now showing year-over-year job growth at about the national level.
  • The Atlanta metro area continues to outperform the rest of the state by more than a percentage point in job growth although it too has slowed notably since the Games.
  • Offshore energy activity is providing economic strength in the southern part of the state, the result of increased technology that improves exploration certainty.
  • The renewal of the oil industry is also providing some revenue gains for the state, which is heavily dependent upon revenue from severance taxes.
  • The gambling industry and its related businesses have clearly matured. Construction employment, driven earlier by casino-related building, is down year-over-year.
  • The service sector continues to show some strength, but on net the state is now under-performing both the nation and the Southeast.
  • Overall the state has slowed substantially, with manufacturing and government job losses accounting for most of the weakness; a primary reason for the reduction is slower auto sales nationwide.
  • With the slowdown, the more dramatic instances of tightness in labor markets have eased somewhat, but the overall job market remains quite tight.
Compiled by the regional section of the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.