Arizona 4.2% personal income boost ranks 5th in U.S.

City of PhoenixArizona ranked fifth in personal income gains in the U.S. for 2016 with a 4.2 percent increase across the year, according to data release Apr. 3 by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Arizona tied with Florida.

Western states as a group did better than the rest of the country taking four of the top five positions. Nevada had the highest income growth rate, 5.0 percent, followed by New Hampshire (4.5 percent), with Utah and California tied at 4.3 percent.

Arizona’s per capita personal income rose to $40,243 in 2016 from $39,606 in 2015. While Arizona’s per capita personal income ranks 42 in the U.S. again in 2016, the upward movement is starting to show the pivot of the state’s employment focus into the four advanced industry sectors. Arizona’s growth out-paced Colorado and Texas. These two states, plus Utah, are the ones against which Arizona competes most for job locates.

Across the state, wages rose an average of 5.3 percent in Arizona, according to the BEA. With a continuing shortage of skilled construction workers, income rose 9.3 percent, driven by higher wages in specialty trades.

Industry sectors with the five biggest average wage increases were construction, utilities (8.7%), agriculture (8.5%), information (8.0%), and arts and entertainment (7.9%). Note that agriculture (“Farm” on the BEA table) includes food manufacturing.

Wages in the information sector climbed 8 percent, health care rose 7.6 percent and financial activities increased 6.8 percent over 2015. Manufacturing raises in nondurable goods rose 5 percent, but in the durable goods sector, only 3.8 percent. Jobs in mining and natural resources declined an average of 8.8 percent during the year.

Local and state government workers saw wages rise 3.4 percent and in education, wages rose 1.8 percent.

Percent change in wages by industry sector 2016 over 2015

Sector, % Chg 16/15

  1. Construction 9.34%
  2. Utilities 8.71%
  3. Farm 8.45%
  4. Information 8.00%
  5. Arts, entertainment, and recreation 7.87%
  6. Forestry, fishing, and related activities 7.60%
  7. Health care and social assistance 7.59%
  8. Finance and insurance 6.79%
  9. Professional, scientific, and technical services 6.38%
  10. Real estate and rental and leasing 6.14%
  11. Administrative and waste management services 5.77%
  12. Total earnings 5.25%
  13. Manufacturing: Nondurable goods 5.04%
  14. Accommodation and food services 4.83%
  15. Transportation and warehousing 4.39%
  16. Retail trade 4.25%
  17. Gov’t: Military 4.06%
  18. Manufacturing: Durable goods 3.84%
  19. Gov’t: Federal civilian 3.63%
  20. Other services (except public administration) 3.43%
  21. Gov’t: State and local 3.40%
  22. Management of companies and enterprises 3.36%
  23. Wholesale trade 2.78%
  24. Educational services 1.81%
  25. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction -8.80%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; Apr. 3, 2017

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