Regional Update (April-June 1998)

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

Cover Story - Emerging Venture Capital Investment in the Southeast

The Productivity Puzzle: Increasing Output in Tight Job Market

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.

  • Boeing's Alabama facility received a $1.6 billion contract, immediately creating over 800 jobs with the potential for more as the project progresses.
  • Manufacturing otherwise continues to contract, led, as before, by losses in apparel.
  • Aerospace and defense contractors have recently been awarded sizable contracts that will soon expand manufacturing employment in the state.
  • Construction remains strong, particularly in the southwest and central parts of the state.
  • Payroll growth in Georgia continues to accelerate, with some strength in virtually all job categories.
  • Multifamily construction in Atlanta remains strong despite signs of rising vacancy rates.
  • Lower oil prices have diminished onshore drill-ing activities but have not seriously affected the less flexible offshore sector.
  • New Orleans economy continues to be somewhat weaker than the rest of the state's, with notable weakness in retail employment.
  • Casinos in the state continue to set records for revenue.
  • Job losses in the manufacturing sector have halted after more than three years of decline.
  • Labor markets continue to be tight in the state, with some pressure now showing in the form of retention bonuses for skilled employees.
  • The Nashville apartment market is experiencing rising vacancy rates, accompanied by current construction of several thousand units.
Compiled by the regional section of the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.