On average in the U.S., state personal income growth dropped to 2.6 percent last year compared with 4.2 percent the previous year. Some of this may be a statistical fluke: The expiration of the payroll tax holiday and 2012’s moves by the wealthy to cash in before slightly higher tax rates kicked in. But mostly it points to a continuing weak recovery.
According to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, Washington’s personal income grew 3.2 percent last year and Oregon’s increased 3.5 percent. Idaho grew 3.7 percent. The only Northwest state below the national average was Alaska, at 1.7 percent.
Some caution is in order. These data represent “income received by all persons from all sources.” The part-time, minimum-wage worker at McDonald’s and Bill Gates. Growth from investments outpaces regular earnings. With inflation at 1 percent, many wages — which this report doesn’t specifically track — barely kept up or lost ground.
Here’s how the states stack up:
For a different picture and some context, let’s look at Washington’s per-capita personal income growth, measured year by year:
After a big dip for the recession, overall growth is still struggling to recover. You can read the entire BEA report here.
And Don’t Miss: How today’s capitalism is driving inequality | The New Yorker
Today’s Econ Haiku:
EBay says they won’t
Break apart to please Wall Street
Carl says Icahn