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.