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Personal income falls in Los Angeles area

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Thanks to the sagging stock market and the dearth of jobs in the state, many Californians have a little less in their pocketbooks than they did a few years ago. The Bureau of Economic Analysis confirmed that trend this Monday, releasing regional data showing that personal income declined in much of the country in 2009.

In the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area, per capita personal income fell to $42,818 from $44,519 in 2008, a 3.8% decline. Total personal income for the region fell to $551.3 billion from $568.4 billion.

The region is ranked 43rd in the country in per capita personal income. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. area is ranked first, with a per capita income of $73,720; San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont was second, at $59,696; Naples-Marco Island, Fla. was third, at $54,548.

Personal income fell in each of those regions in 2009 as well.

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The BEA said earlier this year that state personal income declined an average of 1.7% in 2009, the largest decline in 60 years.

Falling personal income is another drag on the sluggish economy. If consumers have less money, they spend less money, which hurts retailers. If retailers don’t order more goods, manufacturers, shippers and truck drivers suffer.

It also reduces tax collections. State Controller John Chiang said Tuesday that general fund revenues in May were $91.1 million lower than expected. Personal income tax revenues were $210 million, or 6.6%, worse than expected.

-- Alana Semuels


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