In 2017 State Personal Income Growth Accelerates, the West Leads the Nation

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its 2017 state personal income numbers on Thursday. State personal income increased 3.1 percent on average in 2017, after increasing 2.3 percent in 2016. Personal net earnings grew 3.1 percent, property income such as rents increased 3.3 percent, and personal current transfer receipts, like Social Security and Medicare, increased 3.0 percent.

The BEA also breaks down state personal income growth by industry. For the nation, earnings grew in 22 of the 24 industries for which BEA prepares quarterly estimates. Earnings growth in three industries—health care and social assistance; professional, scientific, and technical services; and construction—were the leading contributors to overall growth in personal income. Farming and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction were the only declining industries.

The BEA estimates show how much a state’s income has risen or fallen in 2017. The BEA measures state income as the sum of net earnings by place of residenceproperty income, and personal current transfer receipts. Net earnings are wages, salaries, and current benefits like employer provided healthcare. Property income includes rental income, but also stock dividends and other interest income. Current transfer receipts include any benefits received from Federal, state, or local government, as well as private pensions.

The western parts of the country saw the largest gains. Indeed, the top seven states in 2017 state personal income performance were in the western half of the country, with Washington state leading the way with 4.8 percent growth, followed by Idaho (4.7 percent), Nevada and Utah (4.4 percent each), Arizona (4.3 percent), and Colorado and Utah (4.1 percent each). The top ten are rounded out by three states in the southeast; Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina all experienced 3.8 percent growth. Only North Dakota suffered personal income decline (-0.3 percent).2017 state personal income

It is important to note that this report does not include the wage-growth numbers commonly reported by the media. Those numbers are collected and reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the focus is specifically on wage earners. The report on income from the Bureau of Economic Analysis takes a much broader look at income overall. Access to the BEA’s full data on 2017 state personal income changes can be found here.

All data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

by Jeffrey L Garceau