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Idaho personal income increases

September 20, 2010

Total personal income in Idaho rose back over $50 billion this spring on an annualized basis, marking the first time personal income has been that high since summer 2008.

The nine-tenths of a percent increase from the winter quarter was driven by a substantial rise in the amount of transfer payments – Social Security, disability, pension, unemployment and other benefits – Idahoans received during the second quarter of this year. The increase also reflects a modest uptick in worker wages that was partially offset by a slight decline in business profits.

Idaho’s increase ranked 38th among the states, but it was just a tenth of a percentage point below the national increase of 1 percent.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated total personal income for Idaho at $50.2 billion during the April-June quarter, up $444 million from the January-March quarter and nearly $1.4 billion more than the second quarter of 2009..

Although the recession began in December 2007, Idaho’s personal income continued growing through mid-2008, when it hit nearly $50.8 billion. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the country's 18-month recession officially ended in June 2009, when Idaho personal income dropped to $48.8 billion for the second quarter. Idaho’s economy has continued to feel the impact of the recession over the past year, but personal income has been steadily, if slowly, rising since mid-2009.

While paychecks were up only 0.6 percent from the winter quarter, the gains were spread across nearly every sector of the economy including construction. Farm earnings fell $100 million on an annualized basis while earnings in restaurants and hotels were off just a fraction.

The money Idahoans earned on their investments was up but only a fraction, reflecting the continued problems in real estate and uncertainty in the stock market.

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