U.S. Outlook: Western states charge ahead; many others lag
While broad-based personal income growth was seen across the nation in 2015, the middle of the country lagged significantly, and California surged ahead 6.3%. Average personal income growth nationally was up 4.4% in 2015, the same pace as 2014, with the Western and Southeastern states showing the strongest percentage gains in personal income.
For more details, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on April 1.Key observations:
- Earnings in the professional and business services sector rose 6.6% nationally, with even stronger gains in California and Colorado.
- Earnings in the construction sector rose at a healthy 8.5% and were the main contributors to personal income growth in fast-growing Utah and Nevada.
- In the agricultural-heavy and oil production-dependent middle of the country, the personal income picture is weak.
- Personal income in California topped $2 trillion and contributed a whopping 19% to national personal income growth.
- Stronger wage growth led personal income gains in the state as many California metros are adopting higher minimum wages and labor markets are tight.
- The dissonance in personal income performance is clearly contributing to the chaotic rhetoric we are hearing on the Presidential campaign trail.