Salaries are growing faster in Midland, Texas than in New York City and Texas does not have a state income tax to grab those earnings
The New York city area may boast the largest share of personal income in the U.S., but pay is growing the fastest in the much smaller oil-boom towns of Odessa and Midland, Texas, according to new Commerce Department data.This is a significant change from 15 years ago when it was hard to sell a home in the Midland area. Now barbers and other jobs have significantly increased their earnings and even fast-food restaurants' pay is above the minimum wage.
Indeed, Midland’s per capita personal income of more than $122,000 a year was higher than that of San Jose, San Francisco, Boston or New York last year, the data show. Midland and Odessa -- bases for Permian basin shale production -- have benefited from a boom that last year drove the U.S. to surpass Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer.
Still, personal income in the New York-Newark-Jersey City area last year rose to almost $1.5 trillion, or 8.3% of the U.S. total -- the largest share in the U.S. The NYC metro area was followed by Los Angeles with a 4.8% share and Chicago at 3.3%. Among the top 20 largest, Denver surpassed Riverside, California for the 18th spot last year.
For the fifth year in a row, metropolitan areas in the U.S. outpaced rural and small towns in per capita personal income -- total pay divided by population.
Metro areas increased 4.9% in 2018, up from 4.1% in 2017. In non-metro areas, per capita personal income increased 4.7%, up from 3.3%. The five year streak is the longest in records going back 50 years.
Per capita personal income last year averaged $56,527 for Americans living in metropolitan areas and $41,552 for those in smaller regions.
In terms of growth, Midland and Odessa, Texas, outpaced all 374 metro areas with the fastest growth, at 17.4% and 14.6% respectively. Midland leads the country in per capita personal income, too, with an average of $122,247 in 2018 -- almost $96,000 higher than the lowest ranked McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, metro area.
Not surprisingly, Midland’s riches are drawing people to the city. It led all metro areas in population growth last year with a 4.4% gain. By contrast, populations in more than one in five metro areas shrank last year.