State News

N.C. military cities top others in average income

Posted August 10, 2010 7:48 a.m. EDT
Updated August 10, 2010 10:06 a.m. EDT

— Steady paychecks and a growing flow of Pentagon dollars have pushed average pay in North Carolina’s two largest military communities beyond bigger metro areas like Charlotte and Raleigh.

Figures from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis show that Fayetteville and Jacksonville topped other North Carolina cities in per capita income last year. A decade ago, Fayetteville and Jacksonville were at the bottom in the state.

Per capita income in the Fayetteville metro area, which includes Cumberland and Hoke counties, was $40,917 in 2009, up 4.8 percent from 2008. In the Jacksonville metro area, it was $44,664 in 2009, the highest in the state and an 11.9 percent increase from the previous year.

"We expect this trend to continue as businesses move here to support the new military installations moving to Fort Bragg," Doug Peters, president and chief executive of the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement. "Growth in the military sector is good for everyone as those pay dollars are spent locally fueling our economy."

Income also grew in Goldsboro, home to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, and the Virginia Beach-Norfolk, Va., metro area, which extends into North Carolina’s Currituck County.

One factor was that unemployment and other effects of the recession caused wages to drop in 11 other metropolitan areas.


Information from: The Fayetteville Observer