Western Economic Developments May 1997

May 1, 1997

Executive Summary

  • The District economy continued to expand at a rapid pace in recent months. During the first quarter of 1997 payroll employment increased by 3.3 percent, well ahead of the national pace of 2.3 percent.
  • As measured by growth in nonfarm payroll employment over the past 12 months, the District is expanding nearly 50 percent more rapidly than the nation as a whole.
  • The District currently contains the four fastest growing states in the nation, including Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Oregon. Nevada remains number one in this ranking. Brisk growth in California and Washington has placed them among the ten fastest growing states in the nation.
  • Construction and services continue to be the fastest growing sectors in the District, but the manufacturing sector is becoming an increasingly important contributor to the District’s strong economic performance.
  • Sustained economic growth is pushing down the District unemployment rate. However, recent labor force growth is keeping some state unemployment rates higher than they would be if the labor force were expanding at previous trend rates.