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 â€“ Social Security, disability, pension, unemployment and other benefits â€“ 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.
Idahoâ€™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, Idahoâ€™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. Idahoâ€™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.