The high-tech industry in metropolitan Boston contributes mightily toward New England's prosperity in the good years, but its troubles have hurt the region during this recession.

Layoffs in this industry have driven office vacancy rates to 18 percent in and around Boston. Office construction is dead in downtown Boston, and the area lost over 20,000 manufacturing jobs between June 2001 and June 2002.

While residential construction remains strong, the office market will not recover until 2004, according to Grubb & Ellis Research. Don't expect any immediate improvement in New England's industrial market either. According to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, some makers of high-tech and aerospace products have so much excess capacity that they don't plan to increase capital spending until 2004.

ELECTRICAL WHOLESALERS' SALES
(in millions of dollars)
EW Estimates
Final 1998 Final 1999 Final 2000 Final 2001 Forecast 2002 Forecast 2003
New England 4,158.2 4,348.9 4,575.8 4,250.1 4,023.6 4,189.5
Connecticut 1,592.8 1,680.6 1,768.3 1,642.4 1,554.9 1,619.0
Maine 155.0 159.9 168.3 156.3 148.0 154.1
Massachusetts 1,948.1 1,998.3 2,102.6 1,953.0 1,848.9 1,925.1
New Hampshire 204.0 247.8 260.7 242.1 229.2 238.7
Rhode Island 128.5 132.5 139.5 129.5 122.6 127.7
Vermont 129.7 129.7 136.5 126.7 120.0 124.9
EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS
Actual EC in thousands
M F/S/RT G
New England 40,500 937.7 4,201.2 982.2
Connecticut 9,187 242.4 975.5 247.6
Bridgeport PMSA 847 34.8 104.0 21.6
Danbury PMSA 503 17.7 49.0 11.7
Hartford MSA 2,789 86.2 345.9 97.4
New Haven-Meriden PMSA 1,398 36.2 152.8 35.4
New London-Norwich MSA 507 22.8 69.2 40.6
Stamford-Norwalk PMSA 797 22.8 138.7 18.8
Waterbury PMSA 478 16.2 46.4 12.9
Maine 2,277 76.7 358.6 104.7
Lewiston-Auburn MSA 328 6.6 27.0 5.5
Portland MSA 806 13.3 101.1 18.8
Massachusetts 22,003 405.2 2,042.3 429.9
Barnstable-Yarmouth MSA 427 2.6 51.3 9.1
Boston PMSA 7,252 202.2 1,317.7 241.4
Brockton PMSA 471 10.8 54.8 18.1
Fitchburg-Leominster PMSA 188 11.1 26.7 9.0
Lawrence PMSA 634 33.7 89.5 20.7
Lowell PMSA 608 27.4 64.0 16.2
New Bedford PMSA 256 12.3 34.3 11.1
Pittsfield MSA 180 6.3 27.5 5.7
Springfield MSA 1,156 34.5 151.3 50.6
Worcester PMSA 804 35.3 138.8 34.7
New Hampshire 3,059 100.0 364.9 85.0
Manchester PMSA 591 12.4 63.4 12.0
Nashua PMSA 401 27.2 53.2 9.9
Portsmouth-Rochester PMSA 454 16.7 71.7 23.2
Rhode Island 2,408 68.4 299.6 65.1
Providence-Fall River-Warwick MSA 2,332 87.0 324.3 67.6
Vermont 1,567 45.0 160.3 49.9
Barre-Montpelier 166 3.9 18.1 8.7
Burlington MSA 555 18.2 58.9 16.5
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.