Western Economic Development March 1996

March 1, 1996

Executive Summary

  • Recently revised payroll employment figures reveal solid Twelfth
    District economic performance in late 1995 and early 1996, spurred by
    job growth in California that accelerated over much of 1995. In addition,
    the District still contains four of the five fastest-growing states
    in the nation. Rapid expansion in the service, trade, and construction
    sectors accounts for much of recent District employment growth. Manufacturing
    activity also has been solid, particularly in the electronics sector,
    although there are signs of reduced semiconductor demand.
  • Early in the California recovery, employment growth was concentrated
    in several sectors that expanded rapidly nationwide. Employment growth
    during 1995, however, was more broad-based.
  • Data from a sample of large District banks indicate that total loans
    outstanding increased during January and February at a rate markedly
    higher than in the fourth quarter of 1995. This was primarily driven
    by growth in California, although growth was slower there than during
    the state’s mid-1995 peak.