In the News
California Cities Lead the U.S. in Personal Income Growth
LOS ANGELES—If the U.S. economy is on fire, California is its white-hot center.
Of the 50 largest metros, five of the 10 with the biggest income gains are located in California, where a diverse economy has been adding jobs across industries including construction, tourism and technology. No other state had more than one region in the top ten.
According to census data, the San Diego area, fueled by high-paying job growth in telecoms and biotech, gained most among the 50. Median annual household income rose 5.4% in 2017 to $76,207. The Silicon Valley area, including San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, followed closely with a 4.6% rise in median income to $117,474.
With most of California’s major cities at or near full employment, there are more jobs than job seekers in some sectors and that has driven up wages, economists said.
Very high incomes in some of the state’s dominant sectors, including technology, have also pulled up the median.
“We don’t have slack in many of our labor markets in California and so you get wage increases,” said Jerry Nickelsburg, a senior economist at the University of California-Los Angeles.
California’s economy, which grew 3% in 2017, has in recent years outpaced growth in the overall nation. It now ranks as the fifth-largest economy in the world, surpassing the United Kingdom last year.