Last week, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released per-capita personal income (PCPI) for metropolitan areas in 2013. For Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, income grew 0.7 percent to $38.745.
This placed the sixth-most-populous city and 12th largest metro area at 285th in growth against other American metropolitan areas. It was not a good year for growth. The metro average was 2 percent. Booming Seattle ranked 223rd.
The truly troubling number is the actual income. The national average was $44,765.
Compare it to other similarly large metropolitan statistical areas: Boston (10th largest), $61,754; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward (11), $69,127; Detroit-Warren-Dearborn (14), $42,887; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue (15), $55,190; Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington (16), $51,183.
Or compare metro Phoenix with smaller metros against which it competes for talent and capital: Austin, $44,760; Charlotte, $41,645; Denver, $51,946 and Portland, $46,461.
Metro Phoenix comes in lower than any other large metro with a big city in it. What's going on?