Broad gauge of employee earnings in the US . Personal Income measures the pre-tax income households receive from employment, investments, and transfer payments. As wages and salaries make up the majority of Personal Income, the figure can provide insight on the US employment situation. However, because Personal Income is released after the headline employment figure and earnings figures, its impact on the market is muted. The figure is still useful in gauging the purchasing ability of consumers, though, as rising Personal Income allows for strong consumers spending. Such spending drives output growth and fuels the US economy.