Western Economic Developments May 1998

May 1, 1998

Executive Summary

  • District employment growth was strong in the first quarter, led by particularly fast growth in Arizona and Utah.
  • Employment growth in California was solid in the first quarter, but slower than in 1997. Oregon also experienced slower job growth in the first part of this year.
  • The negative effects of reduced foreign demand and increased import competition recently have become more evident for District manufacturers, but activity in other sectors such as real estate and construction continued to grow quickly.
  • The adverse effects of foreign trade developments have led some District manufacturers of high-tech electronic goods to scale back employment. However, domestic competitive factors also explain some of the weakness at particular firms and segments of the market, and the outlook for the high-tech sector as a whole remains positive.