Want Wage Growth in Your Town? Get an Oil Well.
The BP Deepwater Horizon spill pumping oil into the Gulf of Mexico looks certain to damage local service economies while leaving the energy industry unscathed, I noted last week. And today, a fascinating post by the economist Mike Mandel demonstrates just how good the oil industry is to some of those Gulf-state economies.
Mandel broke down the real per-capita income gains — that is, a measure of how much wages grew in a given area — of the country’s 366 metro districts between 2000 and 2008. Here are the charts showing the highest and lowest gains:
Some of the fastest-growing wages come from places with big oil businesses, like Odessa, Texas.
Meanwhile, Mandel notes, areas dependent on technology and manufacturing showed the steepest declines. Greeley, Colo., is home to some of the United States’ largest meat-packing plants. And San Jose and Santa Clara are near Silicon Valley.