Posted by: Josh Lehner | April 1, 2010

Oregon Personal Income – 2009

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis released full-year 2009 personal income data. For the year, Oregon’s total personal income fell 0.81 percent from 2008 to 2009. As the table below shows, all major income components declined due to the recession except for Personal Current Transfer Receipts. This category includes unemployment benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits, retirement and disability insurance benefits. Oregon’s 0.81 percent decline ranked 17th best in the nation and performed relatively better than our neighboring states – Washington (-0.87 percent), California (-2.48 percent) and Idaho (-2.98 percent).

The graph below illustrates recent historical performance of the three largest components of personal income. The graph is year-over-year percentage change for each component. As wages and salaries decline due to a recession, transfer payments increase as the automatic stabilizers (unemployment benefits, food stamps, medicaid, etc.) kick in. Looking at the data broken down by component, one can identify the changes due to public policies, macroeconomic events or business activity. For example, the increase in Transfer Payments (light blue line) in the second quarter of 2008 was a direct result of the the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 in which many U.S. taxpayers received rebate checks from the federal government.

The graph below shows the level of income by major component for Oregonians from 1990 to 2009. Oregon’s nonfarm employment fell by nearly 80,000 between December 2008 and December 2009 (on an annual average basis, 2009 employment was over 105,000 below the 2008 level), which resulted in the near five percent decline in wages and salaries.


  1. Thank you!

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