As the map shows, the Northwest turned in very different results in personal income growth for the third quarter. Washington was hot. The other states not so much. The report was released earlier this month from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Looking at sectors, Washington had the biggest jump in information earnings at 5.5 percent. The report says:
Over the last decade, information services has expanded relative to other industries in Washington and by the third quarter of 2014 accounted for 7.9 percent of all earnings (up from 5.6 percent in the third quarter of 2004). By comparison, information’s share of earnings fell slightly to 3.3 percent from 3.4 percent for the U.S. over the same period.
Washington ranked 7th overall in personal income growth with 1.2 percent. The national average was 1 percent. Elsewhere in the region, Oregon ranked 31st, Alaska 43rd and Idaho 44th.
The limitation of the metric is that is shows everybody’s earnings, so it is of limited use in tracking inequality. It is one measure of a relatively hot Washington economy. But even here context is needed. Nevada and Arizona showed good increases, too, but their housing-dependent economies are still deeply wounded. Also, one quarter does not a trend make. Washington’s performance is better than the same period a year earlier but slower than first quarter 2014 growth.
Today’s Econ Haiku:
Oil hits five-year low
Who knows what’s really gushing?