April 21, 1999
Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 2.8 percent in the West and by 2.4 percent in the South during 1998, compared to the nationwide increase of 2.3 percent. The Midwest and the Northeast regions, at 1.5 percent each, reported employment growth below the nationwide rise.
In 1998, the South region added the most jobs at 1.0 million, with considerable variation in growth rates among its 3 subregions. The West added almost three-quarters of a million jobs, with both the Pacific and Mountain subregions experiencing solid growth rates. The Midwest and Northeast added fewer than half a million jobs apiece.
The services industry accounted for the greatest number of new jobs in each region (at least 43 percent of net growth) and in each subregion (at least 33 percent). Wholesale and retail trade ranked second in all regions and eight divisions. Construction had the highest growth rate in all regions and eight divisions. Employment declines in manufacturing were most evident in the Northeast and South, while declines in mining were spread across all regions.
Employment data by region and industry are produced by the BLS Local Area Unemployment Statistics and Current Employment Statistics programs. For a summary of unemployment rate changes by region in 1998, see "Midwest jobless rate lowest for eighth straight year,"The Editor's Desk. More detailed information on employment and unemployment changes in 1998 may be obtained from "Job growth slows during crises overseas", Monthly Labor Review, February 1999. The employment changes in this article are based on the change in seasonally adjusted employment data from the fourth quarter of 1997 to the fourth quarter of 1998.