Personal Income for Metropolitian Areas in 2009

Personal Income by Cities dropped -1.8%, on average, for 2009. Per capita metropolitan income plunged -2.8% last year. The BEA release tells an even more troubling story. The only income gains where from government payments via unemployment insurance, social security, disability benefits (transfer receipts) and government jobs.


Although personal income grew in 134 MSAs, in most cases this growth represented an
increase in transfer receipts (unemployment insurance benefits, for example). Only in 57 MSAs did the net earnings of workers increase in 2009.

In most of the 57 MSAs where net earnings increased, the gains were concentrated in the government sector. Military earnings growth was particularly strong in seven of the ten MSAs with the fastest personal income growth in 2009: Jacksonville and Fayetteville, North Carolina; Manhattan, Kansas; Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Lawton, Oklahoma; Clarksville, Tennessee; and Killeen, Texas.

MSA stands for metropolitan statistical areas. There are 466 MSAs.

Only in five MSAs (Kennewick, Washington; Cumberland, Maryland; Morgantown, West Virginia; Cape Girardeau, Missouri; and Ithaca, New York;) did the private sector account for most of earnings growth in 2009.

Las Vegas had a -5.0% decline in personal income for 2009. Elkhart Indiana, which had yet another manufacturer leave (RVs) experienced a -6.3% personal income drop.

On per capita income, again, it's unemployment insurance keeping anything afloat:

Per capita personal income growth rates ranged from 12 percent in Jacksonville, North Carolina to -8.4 percent in Midland, Texas. Per capita personal income growth is a measure which highlights differences in economic conditions across MSAs by removing the effect of differential population growth rates. In addition to the industrial differences already mentioned, MSA per capita personal income growth rates in 2009 reflect the distribution of countercyclical income transfers (under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008). Since these transfers were received primarily by unemployed workers in 2009, their contribution to per capita personal income growth tended to vary with MSA unemployment rates. For example, they contributed 1.9 percentage points to personal income growth in El Centro, California in 2009 (the MSA with the highest unemployment rate in the nation) but only 0.2 percentage point to growth in Bismarck, North Dakota (with the nation’s lowest unemployment rate).

The BEA has listed Stimulus transfer payments. It's amazing, California has received $51.4 billion dollars in just transfer payments from Stimulus. Even more amazing , $411.5 billion dollars of Stimulus money has been paid out as transfer payments, according to the report. California alone has received 12.5% of all transfer payment money.

To see a detailed map where you can zoom on different areas, click here.

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