Connecticut is one of the most industrialized states, and it has recently diversified toward a broader economic portfolio. Six diverse industry clusters drive the state's economy: aerospace and advanced manufacturing; communications, information, and education; financial services; health and biomedical; business services; and tourism and entertainment. The state's value of shipments of manufactured goods totaled $49 billion in 1997. The mineral industry was negligible, and shrinking, while the construction industry posted sales of approximately $7 billion.
Leading industrial and service corporations with headquarters in Connecticut include General Electric, United Technologies, GTE, Xerox, American Brands, Champion International, Union Carbide, Dun & Bradstreet, Deloitte and Touche, Pitney Bowes, Northeast Utilities, Praxair, and Ultramar. In 1997, 22 Connecticut-based companies appeared on Fortune magazine's list of the 500 biggest industrial companies in the US.
Earnings of persons employed in Connecticut increased from $81 billion in 1997 to $86.1 billion in 1998, an increase of 6.2%. The largest industries in 1998 were services, 30.2% of earnings; durable goods manufacturing, 14.5%; and finance, insurance, and real estate, 13.1%. Of the industries that accounted for at least 5% of earnings in 1998, the slowest growing from 1997 to 1998 was state and local government (9.2% of earnings in 1998), which increased 2.8%; the fastest was wholesale trade (6.7% of earnings in 1998), which increased 11.5%.