Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Economic Research

Western Economic Developments January 1998

Date of Publication: 1998-01-01

1998-01-01

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Executive Summary

  • The District contains four of the ten fastest growing states in the nation, with Nevada, Arizona, and Utah topping the list.
  • The pace of employment growth in the District accelerated in recent months, climbing to 3.9 percent at an annual rate during the three months ending in November 1997.
  • The District unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in November, as job growth continued to outpace growth in the labor force.
  • Construction activity continued to be a main source of strength in the District economy late into 1997, adding jobs at an annual rate of 7 percent between December 1996 and November 1997.
  • Manufacturing growth picked up in recent months, increasing at an average annual rate of 3.8 percent during the three months ending in November.
  • Though the District has substantial exposure to developments in East Asia, as of November 1997 only a few industries showed signs of weakening.