Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Northwest Household Income Flat ... Except In Oregon


Oregon was one of the few states where household earnings went up last year. That's according to a new report out Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Estimates from the 2012 American Community Survey show that the median household income remained flat in most states, including Washington and Idaho. But Oregon, Hawaii, Illinois and Massachusetts bucked that trend by a few percentage points.

Josh Lehner of the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis says the news is, frankly, a little surprising.

“Our job growth on average, is about the same as the typical state in the U.S. So we're not seeing outsized gains in employment or personal income or anything like that," he says. "So the fact that the median is up for the household we find that encouraging. Maybe the recovery's a little more broad-based in terms of Oregon families than at least we first thought.”

Lehner says expansion by chip giant Intel in Hillsboro may have played into the rise in median household income.

Still, even with the increase, Oregon's median of $49,000 per year lags behind the rest of the nation. Washington's median household income is close to $58,000. Idaho's is around $45,000.

On the Web:

American Community Survey - US Census Bureau