Sunday, April 13, 2014

Portland and Oregon Personal Per Capita Income: Recent Improvements Yet Rankings Stagnant or Declining Since 2007

The City Club of Portland held a Friday Forum about the health of the regional economy.

Gresham mayor Shane Bemis said during the forum that Portland metro income per capita ranked 136th among metro areas; see YouTube video HERE.  In a subsequent response to my Twitter inquiry he clarified that he meant to say that employment per capita (not per capita income) for Portland metro in 2010 ranked 136th (from a EcoNorwest 2011 Value of Jobs report HERE). 

Oregon Per Capita Income Had 3rd Highest State Improvement in 2013 But Rank Remains at #33.
I appreciated the clarification but wanted to find out more about per capita income so I did some more digging (and calculating) and discovered that Oregon ranked #3 in the country in the growth of per capita income in 2013 (2.7% vs 1.8% nationally), ranking 33rd in the country in per capita income. (Interestingly this is the same as both the 2007 AND 2012 ranking for Oregon).

Oregon Metro Areas Saw Improved 2011-2012 Performance, But Drops in Metro Rankings from 2007-2012.
The 2013 high rate of per capita income growth for Oregon is likely in large part to growth in incomes in the Portland metro area.  (I have not yet been able to find per capita income for 2013 at the metro level, and sent email to BEA asking if there is a planned release date). 

I did yet more digging (and calculating) and was able to find 2012 metro per capita income data. 

During 2012 Portland metro per capita income grew by 4.3% , higher than the national average growth in metro areas of 3.3%.  This high rate of growth improved Portland's ranking by 5 slots from 2011-2012 (from 98th to 93rd out of 381 metro areas), but the Portland 2012 ranking was still 15 slots lower than in 2007, when it ranked 78th.

All Oregon metro areas also saw losses in their metro per capita income ranks from 2007-2012, with Medford dropping a full 69 ranks from 2007-2012, even with 4% growth from 2011 to 2012.

Salem was the only Oregon metro area that showed a decline (6 ranks) in their 2012 vs 2011 metro per capita income ranking. 

Personal Income data can be found on a BEA webpage HERE

A 2010 Oregon Employment Department analysis of why Oregon's per capita income trails the nation is HERE; a more recent 2013 comparison of Oregon metro and non metro per capita income from the same department is HERE.  

Portland Metro Bottom Line: Portland metro per capita income has clearly continued to increase better than the national metro average over the two years, and this likely a cause for improvements seen at the state level. 

Since 2007 Oregon has maintained its ranking (at 33rd), but Portland metro has slipped 15 ranks (to 93rd) even with a strong 2012 showing. (It's possible that a strong 2013 showing will improve Portland's ranking). 

An Excel workbook with the relevant BEA data is HERE and embedded below. ( Data includes 2012 all US metro area personal income data, 2012 Oregon metro areas per capita income data, and state per capita income data for 2013).

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

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