Portland's Personal Income Growth Beats National Average

Chuck Sheketoff

Total personal income in Portland jumped 3.1 percent in 2010 from the prior year, growing at a faster clip than the national average for metropolitan areas, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

With the growth in 2010, total personal income in the Portland metro area recovered from the drop experienced during the recession and set a new record. Total personal income in 2010 came in at $90.7 billion, up from $87.9 billion in 2009. The prior peak of $89 billion ($90.1 billion if inflation adjusted) was set in 2008.

Portland’s personal income growth rate topped that of other major cities in the West, including Boise, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Seattle. None of those cities exceeded the national average personal income growth of 2.9 percent. Portland, however, did lag behind San Jose’s 6.7 percent growth.

With only four out of 366 metropolitan areas across the country seeing a downturn in personal income, all Oregon metropolitan areas recorded growth in 2010, though not all exceeded the national average. Total personal income increased 2.4 percent in Medford, 2.3 percent in Salem, 2.0 percent in Eugene-Springfield, 2.0 percent in Corvallis and 1.5 percent in Bend.

The BEA release this week did not include figures for per capita personal income — total personal income divided by total population. Some of the increase in personal income could be attributable to increased population rather than larger paychecks.

The BEA estimate of personal income includes the sum of wages and salaries, proprietors' income, rental income, personal dividend income, personal interest income and transfer receipts received by all individuals. The BEA estimate of personal income does not include capital gains income.

Oregon Center for Public PolicyChuck Sheketoff is the executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy. You can sign up to receive email notification of OCPP materials at www.ocpp.org.

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    Anyone have idea/data on The role that individual transfer payments played in the increase and Was Portland's % increase in individual transfer payments more or less than other areas?

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