Last year income net earnings and personal income only rose in three metro areas, guess which three

Well, at least Obama and the Democrats are ensuring that government workers are doing well.

Personal incomes fell across the U.S. last year except in areas with a high concentration of federal government and military jobs, the Commerce Department said Monday. They declined most in places with a lot of housing and finance jobs.

Among the 52 metro areas with populations of more than one million, in only three did both net earnings and the broader measure of personal income both rise.

All three had strong ties to the federal government: the Washington, D.C., area and two areas with a large military presence, San Antonio and Virginia Beach, Va. In all three, the biggest gains were among workers in the federal government and the military; private sector compensation fell.

The same picture was reflected nationally, as private employers froze and in many cases reduced workers' pay and hours.

The only other big metro areas with rising personal incomes—Baltimore and Pittsburgh—had falling net earnings but a sharp increase in government checks, such as unemployment benefits. . . .

The Bureau of Economic Analysis report can be found here.

Large MSAs. Among the 52 MSAs with a population of one million or more, only three had an increase in both net earnings and personal income in 2009 (Washington, D.C.; San Antonio, Texas; and Virginia Beach, Virginia). The biggest gains in compensation in these three MSAs were in the federal government (civilian and military combined). Private sector compensation declined in these three MSAs.

Two additional large MSAs had an increase in personal income, despite a decline in net earnings, because of relatively large gains in transfer receipts (Baltimore, Maryland and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).

On average, personal income declined 2.3 percent for these 52 MSAs, with growth rates ranging from 1.2 percent in Virginia Beach to -5.0 percent in Las Vegas.

At the same time it is nice to note that government workers are getting paid so much more than private workers.

Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available.

The federal compensation advantage has grown from $30,415 in 2000 to $61,998 last year.

Public employee unions say the compensation gap reflects the increasingly high level of skill and education required for most federal jobs and the government contracting out lower-paid jobs to the private sector in recent years…



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