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Personal Income

Description: 

Personal income is the most comprehensive measure of the economy available by county. It includes earnings (consisting of wages and salaries of workers, other labor income, and proprietors’ income); dividends, interest, and rent; and transfer payments (such as retirement benefits, food stamps, and unemployment compensation).

The annual inflation-adjusted percent change in personal income in the United States, Arizona, and the 15 Arizona counties is displayed on Arizona Indicators starting in 1970. Inflation-adjusted percent changes using seasonally adjusted quarterly data are presented for the last five-to-six years. The figures are adjusted for inflation using the gross domestic product implicit price deflator (GDP deflator).

Data Source: 

U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Annual state and national data are available back to 1929. Preliminary annual data are released in March, with revised annual data reported in September. County data are released two months later, in November, with data available back to 1969. Quarterly state and national data are reported three months after the end of each quarter. All of the data can be accessed from http://www.bea.gov/regional/index.htm.

The GDP deflator is available from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis: http://www.bea.gov/national/index.htm#gdp. Click on the “Interactive Tables” link; the GDP deflator is in Table 1.1.9 (Section 1: Domestic Product and Income).

Data Quality Comments: 

Some of the inputs to the calculation of personal income by state and county are estimated.

iconQuarterly Personal Income, Inflation-Adjusted Percent Change

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Visualization Notes:

The year-over-year percent change in inflation-adjusted personal income typically is considerably higher in Arizona than the national average, as in early 2006. Year-over-year real personal income growth peaked in early 2006 at nearly 10 percent in Arizona and close to 5 percent nationally. After that, the growth rate fell much more in Arizona than nationally. Real personal income was lower than one year earlier from third quarter 2008 through second quarter 2010 in Arizona. The year-over-year percent change in real personal income was lower in Arizona than the national average from fourth quarter 2007 through first quarter 2012. Since then, Arizona’s year-over-year percent increase has fluctuated from marginally higher to less than the U.S. average.

The quarterly percent change in personal income, seasonally adjusted and inflation adjusted, was considerably higher in Arizona than the national average during early 2006, as is typical during an economic expansion. However, in most quarters from 2007 into 2010, Arizona’s performance was below the national average. Since then, quarterly gains in real seasonally adjusted personal income in Arizona have alternated between higher and lower than the national average.

iconPersonal Income, Inflation-Adjusted Percent Change, 2012

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Visualization Notes:

Six Arizona counties experienced a decline in real personal income in 2012, with decreases of more than 1 percent in Apache, Cochise, La Paz, and Yuma. The gain was at least 2.5 percent in four counties: Greenlee, Maricopa, Santa Cruz, and Yavapai.

iconPersonal Income, Inflation-Adjusted Percent Change

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Visualization Notes:

A healthy economy exists when inflation-adjusted gains in personal income are at least 2-to-3 percent per year. The annual inflation-adjusted percent change in personal income is cyclical, exceeding the target during economic expansions and falling short during recessions. Even during recessions, inflation-adjusted personal income usually rises due to population growth and the countercyclical effect of the transfer payments component, which includes unemployment benefits and income maintenance payments. During expansions, Arizona’s personal income growth typically is much higher than the target and the national average due to the state’s much more rapid population growth. In Arizona, the percent change in personal income during economic expansions has dropped over time, a natural result of the considerable increase in the size of the Arizona economy. During recessions, Arizona’s economic performance usually is inferior to the national average.

Nationally, real personal income growth was 4.0 percent in 2011 and 2.4 percent in 2012, meeting the target. The gains were lower in Arizona at 3.2 percent in 2011 and 1.8 percent in 2012. The only Arizona counties that had growth rates of at least 2 percent in each year were Greenlee, Maricopa, and Santa Cruz. In 2013, the gains nationally and in Arizona were below the target at around 1 percent.

Data Source

U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis. Annual state and national data are available back to 1929. Preliminary annual data are released in March, with revised annual data reported in September. County data are released two months later, in November, with data available back to 1969. Quarterly state and national data are reported three months after the end of each quarter. All of the data can be accessed from http://www.bea.gov/regional/index.htm.

The GDP deflator is available from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis: http://www.bea.gov/national/index.htm#gdp. Click on the “Interactive Tables” link; the GDP deflator is in Table 1.1.9 (Section 1: Domestic Product and Income).