With its focus on high-tech, this region is suffering from a boom/bust syndrome. When times are good, they are very good, but when times are bad, they are a disaster.

With layoffs in these industries, the office vacancy markets in the region's largest cities aren't pretty. Denver, Phoenix and Las Vegas have office vacancy rates of at least 20 percent.

Yet, this region still has an enormous amount of residential construction. While down from their record residential construction numbers of the 1990s, Denver, Phoenix and Las Vegas are still among the top homebuilding markets. Arizona and Colorado also still rank among the Top 10 fastest-growing states in the United States, in terms of in-state migration.

ELECTRICAL WHOLESALERS' SALES
(in millions of dollars)
EW Estimates
Final 1998 Final 1999 Final 2000 Final 2001 Forecast 2002 Forecast 2003
Mountain 3,420.7 3,632.6 3,869.1 4,260.0 4,199.4 4,376.8
Arizona 916.2 978.8 1,042.6 1,147.9 1,131.6 1,179.4
Colorado 953.0 1,023.7 1,090.3 1,200.5 1,183.4 1,233.4
Idaho 193.5 201.4 214.5 236.2 232.8 242.6
Montana 136.5 142.1 151.4 166.7 164.3 171.2
Nevada 542.0 588.0 626.3 689.6 679.8 708.5
New Mexico 175.3 183.5 195.4 215.2 212.1 221.1
Utah 423.5 425.8 453.6 499.4 492.3 513.1
Wyoming 80.7 89.2 95.1 104.7 103.2 107.5
EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS
Actual EC in thousands
M F/S/RT G
Mountain 65,688 694.6 4,846.9 1,501.6
Arizona 15,768 194.8 1,285.0 366.5
Phoenix-Mesa MSA 12,112 145.7 934.5 195.4
Tucson MSA 1,881 32.3 190.9 74.3
Colorado 21,151 185.7 1,241.0 354.0
Boulder-Longmont PMSA 1,007 28.1 108.5 27.6
Colorado Springs MSA 1,467 27.0 146.6 41.1
Denver PMSA 13,651 80.6 667.7 162.1
Idaho 3,805 71.4 289.1 114.9
Boise City MSA 1,871 34.8 120.2 35.9
Montana 2,223 23.6 226.7 85.4
Billings MSA NA 3.4 43.2 8.2
Missoula MSA NA 3.1 31.2 8.8
Nevada 8,576 46.3 698.7 129.0
Las Vegas MSA 7,284 26.0 540.7 84.2
Reno MSA 1,254 14.6 118.9 25.3
New Mexico 6,001 41.9 410.1 191.4
Albuquerque MSA 4,013 27.6 205.2 71.7
Las Cruces MSA 443 3.2 29.4 17.9
Santa Fe MSA 352 1.8 42.8 26.8
Utah 6,408 120.1 574.8 196.2
Provo-Orem MSA 448 17.1 92.3 21.9
Salt Lake City-Ogden MSA 4,716 76.4 382.8 125.5
Wyoming 1,901 10.8 121.5 64.2
Casper MSA 355 1.7 17.6 5.7
NA — Not available
MSA — Metropolitan Statistical Area
PMSA — Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area
CMSA — Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area
EC — Electrical contractor employees. Actual numbers.
M — Manufacturing employees in thousands.
F/S/RT — Commercial accounts (finance, services, retail trade) employees in thousands.
G — Government employees in thousands.