Yesterday the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released full-year 2011 personal income data. Total Personal Income for all states increased 5.1 percent while Oregon’s increased 5.3 percent, ranking 15th best among all states plus D.C. All states, except Nevada, have reached their pre-recession levels in terms of total income. The table below shows Oregon’s income gains by type, and the state’s relative ranking. For the ranking, 1 is the fastest (best) while 51 is the slowest (worst).
Oregon’s growth in the major categories was strong in 2011 and outpaced most states, while income gains in both transfer payments and proprietors’ income were approximately average. Given that Oregon’s business cycles tend to be more volatile than the nation overall, stronger growth during the recovery, however lackluster it may be to date, is to be expected. That being said, Oregon still trails the nation (average state) over this business cycle. Should the state continue to outpace the nation in the coming few years, as expected, then this lost ground will be made up.
Finally, one important measure of income is personal income excluding transfer payments. By this measure, Oregon is just barely below pre-recession levels in nominal terms and across the nation eleven states have yet to reach their pre-recession levels. Thus far into the recovery, Oregon still trails the average state however this is primarily a function of Oregon’s recession being deeper than most states. Since reaching bottom Oregon’s growth in personal income less transfer payments has ranked 26th best nationally, essentially matching the average state’s gain.