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

Rig Zone/Bloomberg:
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.

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.
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.


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