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Wages and Wage Growth

The average annual wage in the SEAGO Region was $44,883 in 2014 (0.7% higher than statewide, but 5% lower than the national average wage). Wages in the SEAGO Region were pulled up by higher wages in Greenlee County with an average wage ($48,549) that was higher than both state and national levels (largely a result of higher paying jobs in the mining industry); and Cochise County with an average wage ($46,308) higher than statewide but lower than nationally. The higher wage level in Cochise County is largely attributable to federal civil service employment at Fort Huachuca, Army Base, and the large number of U.S. Customs and Border Protection jobs. Wages in Graham and Santa Cruz counties were lower than state and national levels in 2014. Graham County’s average annual wage in 2014 was just $39,732 (16% lower than the national average and 11% below the statewide average). Graham County, as a largely rural agricultural community, does not benefit from the border related federal government jobs that the border counties enjoy. Although wages in Santa Cruz County were below the regional average in 2014, Santa Cruz saw the fastest wage growth from 2010 to 2014, increasing by 16.1% (more than three times the statewide rate of growth and two-and-a-half times the national rate). The average annual wage in Cochise County grew by 10.8% during that time (more than twice the statewide rate of wage growth). Cochise and Santa Cruz counties drove the SEAGO Region’s strong rate of wage growth of 10.6% from 2010 to 2014. This rapid wage increase is largely attributable to the much lower wages in 2010, the growth of border trade since that time, the construction jobs from the building of the new commercial port of entry in Nogales, and the increase in Customs and Border Patrol employment resulting from the new port of entry. The growth rates in Graham and Greenlee County lagged (4.7% and 3.7%, respectively; both below state and national levels of wage growth). While the SEAGO Region has been slower than the rest of the State to recover from the 2008 recession, Cochise County’s closer proximity to the Tucson, Arizona urban center, have helped its wages grow at a faster rate than other areas of the Region.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona Office of Employment and Population Statistics, and UsEconomicResearch.com

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona Office of Employment and Population Statistics, and UsEconomicResearch.com

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Arizona Office of Employment and Population Statistics, and UsEconomicResearch.com

Per Capita Personal Income and Income Growth. 

Per capita personal income in the SEAGO Region was $34,044 in 2014 (more than 10% lower than the statewide level and 26% lower than nationally). Per capita personal income in the SEAGO region was pulled up by higher income levels in Greenlee County ($37,431) and Cochise County ($36,720). 

Per capita income in Graham and Santa Cruz counties was considerably lower than state and national levels in 2014. Graham County’s per capita income was just $29,000 (37% lower than the national level and 23.5% below the statewide level). Although per capita personal income in Graham County was the lowest in the SEAGO Region in 2014, Graham saw the second highest level of income growth in the region from 2010 to 2014, increasing 19.1% (nearly twice the statewide rate of growth). The highest level of income growth in the Region was Greenlee County, which saw an increase of 22.7% from 2010 to 2014 (more than twice the statewide rate). In both counties, the rising wages were a result of construction jobs attributed to the Freeport-McMoRan mine expansion in the area, and increases is mining related wages.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and UsEconomicResearch.com

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and UsEconomicResearch.com

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and UsEconomicResearch.com

Family Income and Income Growth

Mean (average) family income in the SEAGO Region was $64,662 from 2010 to 2014 (in 2014 dollars)—16.5% lower than statewide and 25.6% lower than nationally. Mean family income in the Region was pulled up by higher levels in Cochise County ($68,113). Family income levels in Graham, Greenlee, and Santa Cruz counties were lower than the regional level from 2010 to 2014. Santa Cruz County’s mean family income in 2014 was just $56,525 (35% lower than the national level and 27% below the statewide level). 

 

In addition to mean family income in Santa Cruz County being lowest in the SEAGO Region during the 2010-2014 timeframe, Santa Cruz also saw the lowest level of family income growth in the Region from 2005-2009 to 2010-2014, increasing just 0.4% (half the statewide level of family income growth). The highest level of growth in family income in the SEAGO Region from 2005-2009 to 2010-2014 was Graham County, which saw an increase of 19.7%, followed by Greenlee County at 10.2%.


Note. Data for 2010-2014 expressed in 2014 dollars; data for 2005-2009 expressed in 2009 dollars
Source: U.S. Census Bureau (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates and 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates) and UsEconomicResearch.com

Source: U.S. Census Bureau (2005-2009 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates and 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates) and UsEconomicResearch.com.