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Job growth exceeds expectations

July 11, 2006
With the exception of Colorado, analysts in the West underestimated the strength of labor markets in 2005. Job growth turned out to be stronger than expected, with every Western state exceeding the national nonfarm growth rate of 1.5 percent, according to the current issue of the Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast.

At the beginning of last year, the California forecasting panel projected the Golden State would record the weakest job growth in the West. Their pessimism was justified, as employment in California grew by 1.8 percent in 2005. Nevada experienced the highest growth rate at 6.2 percent.

On the bright side, the California forecasting panel took top honors for producing the most accurate forecast of nonfarm employment growth among Western states in 2005, missing the mark by a scant 0.1 percent. The Colorado panel was runner-up; their forecast of 2.3 percent growth exceeded the actual figure by only 0.2 percent.

The monthly Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast publishes the consensus forecasts of panels of economists in 10 Western states. Panelists are drawn from leading firms, universities and state agencies. The publication also features historical data for each state.

The Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast is published 10 times a year by the Bank One Economic Outlook Center at Arizona State University 's W. P. Carey School of Business. The cost is $99 for e-mail subscription. For information, call (480) 965-5543.

W. P. Carey School of Business
The L. William Seidman Research Institute in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is an affiliation of six research centers that serves as a link between the local, state, national and international business communities and the creative and intellectual resources of the nationally ranked W. P. Carey School of Business.  For more information please visit < > .