By James Clary
On August 9th, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released preliminary estimates of 2009 personal income for metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). The data revealed that the majority of MSAs experienced a decline in income between 2008 and 2009, with an average decrease of 1.8%. Among the fifty two MSAs with a population greater than one million, only five realized growth in personal from 2008 to 2009, with the majority of this growth generated from government funding.
Hampton Roads experienced the largest growth rate of the large MSAs for both personal income and per capita income. The region realized a 1.2% increase in personal income between 2008 and 2009 and a 1.0% increase in per capita income. Baltimore and Pittsburg joined Hampton Roads in being the only three regions to experience per capita income growth among large MSAs. Hampton Roads Per Capita Income last year was $39꺂, ranking as the 67th highest metropolitan PCI in the country. Personal income in the region was $66.4M, which is the 35th largest in the country.
The BEA highlighted the role that the government, and particularly the Department of Defense, played in the regions that experienced increasing incomes during these difficult times. Only five areas out of 366 experienced income growth that was derived from expansion of private sector compensation.