Sponsored by Oregon Business

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

Getting What You Pay For

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A conversation with Chris Maples, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.


Up on the Roof

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In 2010 Vanessa Keitges and several investors purchased Portland-based Columbia Green Technologies, a green-roof company. The 13-person firm has a 200% annual growth rate, exports 30% of its product to Canada and received its first infusion of venture capital in 2014 from Yaletown Venture Partners. CEO Keitges, 40, a Southern Oregon native who serves on President Obama’s Export Council, talks about market innovation, scaling small business and why Oregon is falling behind in green-roof construction. 


5 marijuana business people share strategy ahead of recreational sales rollout

The Latest
Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ahead of the recreational rollout, what are dispensary owners most concerned about ?


One Tough Mayor

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

Betty Roppe steers Prineville into the future.


Big Trouble in China?

Guest Blog
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
0818-wellmanthumbBY JASON NORRIS | CFA

Earlier this month, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) announced they were going to devalue their currency, the Renminbi. While the amount of the targeted change was to be roughly 2 percent, investors read a lot more into the move. The Renminbi had been gradually appreciating against the U.S. dollar (see chart) as to attempt to alleviate concerns of being labeled a currency manipulator.


The 10 most successful crowdfunding campaigns in Oregon

The Latest
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
081915-crowdfundingmainBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

One of the hottest new investment trends has proven quite lucrative for some companies.


Living the dream

Friday, August 21, 2015

smugglespearsthumbRenee Spears, founder and owner of Portland-based Rose City Mortgage, is hot to trot to sell pot.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02