Incomes fall in U.S. metro areas, including Asheville

Incomes fell in 223 U.S. metro areas last year — including Asheville. Local per capita income dropped 2.2 percent from 2008 to 2009, according to Aug. 9 reports in the Wall Street Journal (Phil Izzo ‘s “U.S. Incomes Tumbled in 2009” and Conor Dougherty’s “Incomes Fall in Most Metro Areas”).

“Personal income took a hit in most of the U.S. last year with the only gains coming from government support, according to new data from the Commerce Department,” Izzo writes. On average, incomes fell 1.8 percent. Izzo compares that to a 2.7 percent increase in 2008 incomes. Nine regions saw no change; 134 saw income increases, but in about half of those, “the growth came from transfer receipts such as unemployment benefits or Social Security payments. In most of the remaining 57 metro areas, the gains were concentrated in the government sector, the Commerce Department said, including strong growth in military earnings.”

Prices also declined last year, but by only 0.2 percent.

Some of the worst income declines were in Texas, such as Midland’s 8.4-percent fall, Doughtery reports, also noting, “Among the 10 metro areas with the largest personal income growth, seven had a strong military presence, among them Jacksonville, N.C., which houses the Marine Corps’ Camp Lejeune and Fayetteville, N.C., home of the Army’s Fort Bragg.”

In just five metro areas did the private sector account for most of the earnings growth: Kennewick, Wash.; Cumberland, Md.; Morgantown, West V. Va.; Cape Girardeau, Mo.; and Ithaca, N.Y.

Nationally, unemployment remains at 9.5 percent.

SHARE
About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.