Sponsored by Lane Powell

Westerners, but not Oregonians, have heftier checks than elsewhere in U.S.

| Print |  Email
Friday, June 01, 2007

Personal income per person remains well above the U.S. average in the “left coast” states of Washington and California, as well as in oil-rich Alaska.

Montana and Idaho by contrast remain relatively poor states, with incomes not much above the poorest of the poor: Mississippi, West Virginia and Arkansas. Note that low incomes in the Intermountain West are offset partly by much lower costs of living than in big West Coast metro areas.

0607Indicators4.gifThe income rank of Oregon among the states rose a decade ago after the semiconductor industry invested billions in new Oregon chip plants. As some of that manufacturing activity has slipped offshore, Oregon’s relative standing has eroded.

Personal income is one of the most important and widely watched measures of a state’s economy. It includes wages, salaries, bonuses, proprietors’ income, rents, dividends and transfer payments such as Social Security and unemployment benefits and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends.

Capital gains on housing and securities are not counted as personal income in Uncle Sam’s bookkeeping. They show up on the balance sheets rather than income statements. This helps explain why household net worth remains at a record high despite the notoriously low U.S. savings rate.  

Idaho and Washington ranked in the top 10 in the U.S. in 2006 in growth of total personal income. Montana and California weren’t far behind. Although Idaho’s share of total income remains relatively small, its standing has improved more than others over 10 years. California, Montana and Washington shares also improved. Oregon and Alaska shares have declined.

U.S. personal income rose 6.3% in 2006 measured in current dollars, the best gain since the nation’s economy began expanding following the short and shallow 2001 recession.   

The booming construction industry was a major contributor to 2006 personal-income growth in Idaho, Washington and Oregon. So was manufacturing in all three states, especially of durable goods such as airplanes in Washington and computer chips in Oregon and Idaho.

In both Alaska and Montana, income surged in 2006 in the mining industry, including oil and gas exploration and production.

Personal income in Washington should continue to grow briskly at least for the next couple of years as Boeing head count and production continue to expand.

— Excerpted from Marple’s Pacific Northwest Letter, editor Michael Parks. For information on this biweekly report on Northwest economic trends, visit www.marples.com.

 

More Articles

The best crisis is the one you avoid

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
crisisthumbBY GARY CONKLING | GUEST BLOGGER

Avoiding a crisis is a great way to burnish your reputation, increase brand loyalty and become a market leader.


Read more...

5 ways successful people kickstart the day

The Latest
Thursday, April 02, 2015
coffeethumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Are mornings the most productive part of the day?  We ask five successful executives how they get off to a good start.


Read more...

6 development projects reshaping Bend

The Latest
Thursday, April 09, 2015
bendthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Bend has reclaimed its prerecession title as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.


Read more...

Car Talk

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Everyone knows cell phones and driving are a lethal combination. The risk is especially high for teenage drivers, whose delusions of immortality pose such a threat to us all. Enforcement alas, remains feeble; more promising are pedagogical approaches aimed at getting people to focus on the road, not their devices.


Read more...

Short Shrift:The threat of just-in-time scheduling

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Companies can benefit when they use software to meet staffing requirements and address employees' family and life commitments.


Read more...

Picture This

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

As a general rule, the more people with autism can be provided with visual cues, the better they will be able to understand and manage their environment. It’s a lesson Tom Keating learned well. The 61-year-old Eugene grant writer spent 31 years taking care of his autistic brother James, and in the late 1980s developed a spreadsheet that created a series of nonsense characters that grew or shrank depending on how much money James had in his account. 


Read more...

Beam Me Up

April 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY DAN COOK | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan

An alliance of developers, academics and timber industry executives wants to position Oregon as a front runner in the glamorous new world of wooden skyscrapers.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS