Hudson Valley personal incomes inch upward in 2011, survey shows
Personal incomes in the Hudson Valley are on an upward track, led by gains in Rockland County, but lagged in increases across the state and nation, a study found.
The "Total Personal Income 2011" report released Tuesday by the Marist College-based Bureau of Economic Research showed 2011 incomes rose 4.05 percent -- or $5.2 billion -- above 2010 levels, to $133.5 billion, driven mostly by hikes in salaries, wages and benefits, known as "earned income."
The study covered a seven-county region comprising Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester. Total personal income in the study comprises earned income; interest, dividends and rents; and transfer payments, which include veteran's benefits, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and other social safety net programs.
Rockland had the biggest gain in total personal income, at 5.23 percent, followed by Dutchess at 4.66 percent, the study found. The overall 4.05 percent increase for the Hudson Valley was less than New York's 4.46 percent and a 5.21 percent climb nationwide.
Prosperity in the region continued to hug the New York City area, the study found.
"The region has seen a steady, albeit slow, recovery from the Great Recession," said the study's author, Christy Huebner Caridi of Marist College. "Consistent with long-established patterns, the region's recovery is uneven, with counties closer to New York City remaining above state and national levels, in terms of income, while more rural counties fall below those marks."
Bearing this out, Westchester led the region in per capita earned income, at $50,666, followed by Putnam ($38,893); Rockland ($36,589); Dutchess ($30,450); Orange ($27,061); Ulster ($23,432) and Sullivan ($20,969). Westchester's figure ranked it second in the state; Putnam was fourth and Rockland fifth, while Ulster and Sullivan ranked 22nd and 37th, respectively, out of New York's 62 counties, the study found. Earned income accounts for 66 percent of personal income in the Hudson Valley, the study found.
• Interest, dividends, and rents -- the second-largest component of total personal income, at 19 percent -- increased 5.34 percent per capita from 2010 to 2011, shy of the state and national increases of 6.33 percent and 6.77 percent.
• Transfer payments -- the third-largest component of personal income, at 14 percent -- increased 2.13 percent per capita regionally, compared to state and national rates of 1.50 and 1.53, respectively.