Excerpted from “Personal income falls 2.5% in California
” By Tom Abate, Chronicle Staff Writer, The San Francisco Chronicle
, Friday, March 26, 2010
ersonal income in California fell last year for the first time since the Great Depression, the Commerce Department said Thursday.
State income plunged even more sharply in 2009 than the similar, historic drop that occurred on a national basis, a notable reversal given that California generally has beaten the national averages throughout the 80-year history of this report.
Personal income includes wages and salaries, health and pension benefits, rents, dividends and interest, federal payments such as unemployment and Social Security, and just about every form of wealth except stock sales and other capital gains.
The 2.5 percent drop in statewide personal income works out to $1,527 fewer dollars for every man, woman and child in California.
The accompanying nationwide drop of 1.7 percent works out to a $1,028 decline in per capita income for all Americans.
Prior to last year's drop, personal income in California had fallen only five times since 1929, when such record keeping began. All five of those occurrences were during the Depression. …