Regional Update (January-March 1998)

Index The State of the States Views from the Region Southeastern Manufacturing Survey Southeastern Economic Indicators

Cover Story - How Will the Asian Financial Crisis Affect the Southeast?

Defense Contractors in the Region Respond to Military Spending Cuts

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.

  • The worst of the apparel employment losses now seem to be over, with overall job losses in manufacturing now less than 2 percent.
  • While the northern part of the state continues to show strength, tightness in some local labor markets in the central and southern parts of the state is beginning to emerge.
  • The state continues to outperform the nation and the Southeast in job growth, now coming in at over 3 percent year over year, based on data through the fourth quarter of 1997.
  • Construction and business services, traditionally top performers in the state, continue to show strength.
  • Led by a post-Olympic rebound in Atlanta, the state's economy is now outperforming the nation's.
  • While Savannah is not posting the same absolute quantities of jobs created because of its smaller size, the metropolitan area there is now slightly outperforming the much larger Atlanta metropolitan statistical area in terms of growth rates. Much of Savannah's growth is in transportation and distribution and business services related to increased port activity.
  • The state has been underperforming the region in job growth, with a sluggish New Orleans market now being matched by the rest of the state.
  • Employment in the relatively high-wage oil and gas mining category continues to expand, maintaining the pace set in late '96.
  • Employment growth remains slow in the state, although total government employment remains strong and is accelerating.
  • Despite overall sluggishness, tax revenues continue to come in above expectations.
  • Payroll employment growth continues to slow, held back by losses in manufacturing and relatively slow growth in services.
  • Construction employment, mostly outside of Nashville, has shown some recent acceleration after a period of generally underperforming the rest of the Southeast.
Compiled by the regional section of the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.