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 Green Paradox

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY EMILY LIEDEL

Inside the topsy-turvy world of corporate sustainability rankings.


Read more...

The Backstory: Portland Youth Builders

The Latest
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
blog002 1BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

As part of our green workplaces story, Oregon Business checked out a community service project undertaken by Portland Youth Builders, a nonprofit alternative high school. In partnership with Whole Foods, PYB built garden boxes for a Home Forward  housing site. Home Forward is a government agency that provides housing for low income residents and people with disabilities.


Read more...

Photo Diary: Forest Grove Farmers Market

The Latest
Thursday, May 14, 2015
IMG 8469BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.


Read more...

Biker dreams

The Latest
Friday, May 15, 2015
bike at ater wynn-thumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking input from businesses on a $5.5 million initiative to create a network of biking, transit and pedestrian trails within Portland’s central city.


Read more...

Efficiency Boost

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

How conservation stimulates the local economy.


Read more...

The 5 highest revenue-generating parks in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, June 11, 2015
parksthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.


Read more...

Frothy Battle

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN

Latest development in Nestlé plant saga sparks debate about the value of water.


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