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Personal Income in Majority of States Grew In First Quarter of 2017

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In 42 states, personal income grew from the past year, even after adjusting for inflation, according to a report from Pew Charitable Trusts.

Personal income includes wages and salaries, benefits from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as employers’ contributions to retirement plans, contributions to health insurance, and income from property and rent.

On average, personal income grew across all states by 1.8 percent, but some states saw growth as high as 2.9 percent.

Compared with the previous year, Idaho, Washington, and Utah saw personal income grow by 2.9 percent. According to the report, personal income fell in Wyoming, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alaska, Vermont, Iowa, and West Virginia, due to manufacturing, farming, state and local government, and construction weaknesses.

The study also evaluated how personal growth has fluctuated since the recession began in 2007. The group found that personal income growth has recovered unevenly since this time with certain states growing faster than others.

For example, there were 17 states in which personal income grew faster than the nation as a whole since the end of 2007. North Dakota’s personal income has grown 4.2 percent since the recession, Texas’s has increased 2.9 percent, Utah’s has increased 2.6 percent, Colorado’s has increased 2.3 percent, and California’s has increased 2.2 percent.

“One of the longest U.S. economic expansions has lifted personal income in all states above pre-recession levels,” the report states. “But growth has varied, ranging from a constant annual rate of 0.7 percent in Illinois and Nevada to 4.2 percent in North Dakota.”

After Illinois, Nevada had the weakest expansion, growing at only 0.7 percent, followed by Connecticut growing by only 0.8 percent, Maine and Mississippi growing at 0.9 percent, then New Mexico, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Alabama growing at 1 percent.

“Personal income estimates are widely used to track state economic trends,” the report states. “Trends in personal income matter not only for individuals and families but also for state governments, because tax revenue and spending demands may rise or fall along with residents’ incomes.”

“Comprising far more than simply employees’ wages, the measure sums up all sorts of income received by state residents, such as earnings from owning a business or investing, as well as benefits provided by employers or the government,” the report said.

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