The consumer price index jumped by 0.8% in April -- a far larger increase than many had anticipated. The recent spike in the cost of goods and services has led to widespread concerns over inflation. If the cost of living continues to climb at such a rapid pace, it could outpace wage growth, weakening the buying power of the American consumer. Such an outcome would be a reversal of a long-term trend in much of the United States.
Over the last 10 years, real personal income per capita, a measure of annual earnings that is adjusted for inflation, climbed in the United States from $42,287 in 2010 to $53,071 in 2020. There are many potential factors that drove up real personal income, not the least of which is wage growth outpacing inflation.
Real personal income per capita in Washington rose 28.8% over the last decade, from $43,173 in 2010 to $55,607 in 2020. Over the same period, Washington has undergone rapid economic growth. The state's GDP expanded by 42.8%, the most of any state and more than double the 18.1% national economic growth over that time.
In addition to strong economic growth, an uptick in working hours has also likely contributed to the surge in real personal income per capita in Washington. The typical worker in the state puts in 34.9 hours per week, up from 34.1 hours in 2010 -- one of the largest increases of any state.
Percent growth in real personal income per capita from 2010 to 2020 was calculated using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal income figures were adjusted from current dollars to constant 2012 dollars using the U.S. personal consumption expenditure price index and were also adjusted for regional price differences using regional price parity in accordance with the methodology provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. These are the 16 states where incomes are rising the fastest.
|Rank||State||10-yr. chg. in real personal income per capita (%)||Real personal income per capita, 2020 ($)||10-yr. workforce participation chg. (ppt.)||10-yr. chg. in avg. weekly hours worked (%)|