Photo courtesy 401(K) 2012
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc Photo courtesy 401(K) 2012

In 2014, the U.S. workforce earned 2.9% more income than it did in 2014, with folks in some metros earning more and others in other markets earning less than the nationwide amount. The amount of income earned by an area's workforce is their total personal income and therefore a growing workforce is looked upon as an indicator for income growth as well as rising wages.

Rising wages and a growing workforce are usually indications of economic prosperity, and certainly can be expected to lead to better outcomes down the road. However, the metro areas with rising total income include both strong economies with low unemployment, as well as weak economies with high jobless rates. Similarly, in close to half of the areas with above-average income, poverty was higher than the national rate.

Odessa, Texas came out on top:

As is often the case in places with booming incomes, Odessa’s population — and workforce — has been growing in recent years. The number of employed people in the city grew by 6.1% in 2014, the fifth fastest employment growth rate of any metro area. The traditionally high paying finance sector added 2,377 jobs to the income pool in 2014, increasing by 124.1%.

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