Incomes in Oregon Are Rising but Remain Below the National Average

Incomes: Historically, residents in Oregon have made less money than people in other parts of the country, but over the course of the last decade, the state has made significant progress toward closing the income gap.

Incomes in Oregon Are Rising but Remain Below the National Average

According to a new study that was conducted by Molly Hendrickson, an economist at the Oregon Employment Department, the state of Oregon had a per capita personal income of $61,596 in 2017. That’s 96% of the average across the whole country. In 2011, the average income of Oregonians was only 88% of the national average.

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Earnings, such as wages and salary from employment, investment income, and payments from the government are all components of an individual’s personal income. Recent additions include the pandemic stimulus checks that persisted into the previous year.

According to Hendrickson, the individual income in the state of Oregon increased by 8.2% in the past year. This growth rate places Oregon and Washington in a tie for the tenth fastest growth rate in the nation. The state’s per capita personal income placed it in 21st place among all states.

Despite the fact that economists aren’t entirely sure why Oregon residents’ incomes have been steadily climbing for the past few years.

Incomes in Oregon Are Rising but Remain Below the National Average
Incomes in Oregon Are Rising but Remain Below the National Average

Both the expansion of the state’s technology industry and the migration of skilled employees from neighboring states are likely contributing factors. In the densely populated area surrounding Portland, Oregon, the poverty rate has been consistently falling, which is a reflection of the low unemployment rate and rising wages – particularly at the lower ends of the wage scale. (The poverty rate, on the other hand, is determined on a national scale and has very little bearing on whether or not something is affordable in a market like Portland.)

Last year, personal incomes were inflated not only by stimulus funds but also by wealthy people selling stock to lock in profits on Wall Street and to prevent potential rises in federal taxes on the wealthy (tax increases that Congress did not ultimately pass).

According to a recent projection made by state economists, there is a less optimistic picture of income growth in the state of Oregon over the course of the next several years. They anticipate that a moderate recession will start in the summer of 2019, which will cost the state 24,000 jobs and drive unemployment up to 5.4%. (The unemployment rate in Oregon is now hovering around 4.1%.)

Additionally, now that stimulus monies have been distributed and the stock market is in a bear market region, Oregonians with higher incomes have less of an incentive to liquidate their investments.

The rise of personal income is anticipated to be only 2.4% higher in 2023, but it is anticipated to climb to approximately 5% for the few years after that. That is nevertheless considered to be in a healthy range when compared to historical averages, which reflects an optimistic outlook that the upcoming recession will be mild and relatively brief.

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According to what the analysts have said, “the recession is predicted to be moderate,” and “personal income is expected to stay constant,” despite the loss of jobs.

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