New expanded report details progress in southeastern economy

The Atlanta Fed's Regional Economic Information Network (REIN) recently introduced a new format for its monthly reports on the southeastern economy. Featuring state-by-state summaries of the latest economic data and analysis, the revamped reports include expanded information on labor market conditions, manufacturing activity, and more.

The region's economic performance compared with that of the nation has been somewhat uneven, the May report shows. Labor markets have stabilized, but significant gains in employment have yet to materialize. With the exception of Louisiana, the southeastern states are grappling with unemployment rates above the national average. At the same time, underemployment is presenting a difficult challenge, especially in Florida, where nearly 19 percent of the labor force is unemployed or underemployed, the report notes.

On a brighter note, the region as a whole has enjoyed an acceleration in manufacturing activity, according to Kennesaw State University's Southeast Purchasing Managers Index PMI. The region has also seen a recovery in consumer activity, including year-over-year increases in sales tax revenues, the report notes. In Florida, the state's important tourism industry has continued to recover, in part due to international visitors. The increase in consumer activity has also benefitted Louisiana, whose leisure and hospitality industry showed positive employment momentum in March.

For more information, including charts, data, and analysis, on these and other key sectors of the southeastern economy, read the full report online.