New Englanders have needed their crusty Yankee reserve to weather the storm that hit the area's economy three years ago like a ‘Noreaster’ blowing off the Atlantic. It's been anything but a winter wonderland for New England businesses since the late 1990s. The industrial market is suffering the most. According to the New England Economic Project, manufacturers have cut nearly 150,000 jobs in the past two years. Add in the cuts in IT and the service segments, and you have an employment decline of over 267,000 jobs since 2000. Housing construction is slow, but prices are high. There is some good news: Grubb & Ellis says office vacancy rates in downtown Boston are relatively low. And with the $14.6 billion “Big Dig” construction project nearing completion, the Boston Harbor area is expected to be a hotbed of new construction. The market's diverse economic base will help the region dig out from this storm — eventually.

ELECTRICAL WHOLESALERS' SALES
(in millions of dollars)
EW Estimates
Final
1999
Final
2000
Final
2001
Final
2002
Forecast
2003
Forecast
2004
New England 4,348.9 4,575.8 4,250.1 4,375.9 4,527.6 4,824.1
Connecticut 1,680.6 1,768.3 1,642.4 1,691.0 1,749.7 1,864.2
Maine 159.9 168.3 156.3 160.9 166.5 177.4
Massachusetts 1,998.3 2,102.6 1,953.0 2,010.8 2,080.5 2,216.7
New Hampshire 247.8 260.7 242.1 249.3 257.9 274.8
Rhode Island 132.5 139.5 129.5 133.4 138.0 147.0
Vermont 129.7 136.5 126.7 130.5 135.0 143.9
EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS
Actual in thousands
EC M C G
New England 38,859 769.0 3,981.1 898.4
Connecticut 8,516 201.5 932.0 227.3
Bridgeport PMSA 847* 28.3 102.3 23.1
Danbury PMSA 503* 13.9 50.5 11.3
Hartford MSA 2,789* 73.8 329.5 94.1
New Haven-Meriden PMSA 1,398* 31.8 147.9 30.5
New London-Norwich MSA 507* 19.5 68.8 42
Stamford-Norwalk PMSA 797* 11.5 135.0 19.5
Waterbury PMSA 478* 12.1 44.2 13
Maine 2,485 62.6 356.2 91.3
Lewiston-Auburn MSA 328* 6.2 27.7 4.5
Portland MSA 806* 11.0 98.9 18.5
Massachusetts 21,086 327.8 1,902.9 393.4
Barnstable-Yarmouth MSA 427* 1.8 50.9 9.3
Boston PMSA 7,252* 157.3 1,216.0 223.1
Brockton PMSA 471* 9.4 54.1 16.4
Fitchburg-Leominster PMSA 188* 10.5 26.4 7.6
Lawrence-Haverhill PMSA 634* 27.5 79.4 18.6
Lowell PMSA 608* 22.6 53.7 14.5
New Bedford PMSA 256* 10.0 33.3 9.5
Pittsfield MSA 180* 5.5 26.6 4.8
Springfield MSA 1,156* 28.6 137.7 44.8
Worcester PMSA 804* 26.8 127.2 31.1
New Hampshire 2,870 81.5 352.9 80.8
Manchester PMSA 591* 11.8 59.4 11.0
Nashua PMSA 401* 21.3 48.0 8.8
Portsmouth-Dover-Rochester PMSA 454* 12.3 74.5 21.0
Rhode Island 2,387 56.9 274.5 62.5
Providence MSA 2,288 71.7 296.8 64.3
Vermont 1,515 38.7 162.6 43.1
Barre-Montpelier 166* 3.1 18.2 7.6
Burlington MSA 555* 15.5 57.6 15.5
NA — Not available
MSA — Metropolitan Statistical Area
PMSA — Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area
CMSA — Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area
^ — This regional electrical contractor employment number utilizes both 2002 and 2003 employment figures. For directional purposes only.
EC — Electrical contractor employees for March 2003. Actual numbers.
* — Electrical contractor employees for March 2002. Actual numbers.
M — Manufacturing employees for July 2003. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
C — Commercial account employees (professional and business services, retail trade, financial activities, educational and health services, and other services) for July 2003. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
G — Government employees for July 2003. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics