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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 third quarter 2007 through fourth quarter 2012. Since third quarter 2013, Arizona’s year-over-year percent increase has been marginally higher 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 2012, Arizona’s performance was below the national average. Since late 2012, quarterly gains in real seasonally adjusted personal income in Arizona have mostly been equal to or slightly higher than the national average.

iconPersonal Income, Inflation-Adjusted Percent Change, 2013

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Visualization Notes:

Six Arizona counties experienced a decline in real personal income in 2013, with decreases of at least 1 percent in Apache, Cochise, and La Paz. The gain was at least 1.8 percent in three counties: Coconino, Graham, and Greenlee County, where the change was 16.2%.

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 4.1 percent in 2011 and 3.3 percent in 2012, meeting the target. The gains were lower in Arizona at 3.3 percent in 2011 and 2.6 percent in 2012. In 2013, the gains nationally and in Arizona were below the target at around 0.5 percent. Greenlee was the only Arizona county that had a growth rate of at least 2 percent in each year. Among the other counties, five reached the target in 2011, but only Maricopa and Yavapai had growth that strong in 2012, and only Graham reached the target in 2013.

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).