Personal income grew faster in Idaho during the first quarter of 2017 than in any other state.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released a report for the first quarter of 2017 on June 27 that showed Idaho’s personal income growth rate of 1.6 percent outpaced the national average, 1 percent.
Texas, Louisiana, Michigan and Florida had the next-fastest rate, 1.3 percent. The lowest growth rate, .2 percent, was in North Dakota and Iowa. Nebraska was the only state where personal income declined, by .1 percent, during the first quarter of 2017, according to the bureau.
“Idaho is probably affected by farm revenue more than other states would be,” said Craig Shaul, research supervisor at the Idaho Department of Labor. “It looks like farm earnings were a big factor in this growth followed by state and local government expenditures.”
Personal income in Idaho rose from $66.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 to $67.6 billion during the first quarter of 2017. Personal income in Idaho has risen 4.9 percent, more than $3 billion, since the beginning of 2016, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.
Farm earnings grew by $239 million or 17 percent. Growth in military spending and in the real estate and construction industries all played big roles as well, according to the Department of Labor.
Across the country, 21 of the 24 industries that the Bureau of Economic Analysis monitors experienced growth in earnings, with the most growth coming from scientific and technical services, construction and healthcare.
Transfer payments such as Social Security, medical benefits, veterans benefits and unemployment insurance also helped with the increase. Government payouts in the state grew by 3.8 percent, $242 million, over the quarter, according to the department.
“As the demographic shifts (ages) in Idaho we expect to see dividend income and transfer payments become a larger portion of the pie,” Shaul said.
Washington, Montana and Utah all saw personal income growth of 1.2 percent during the first quarter of 2017 . In Nevada and Wyoming, personal income grew 1.1 percent and in Oregon it grew by .9 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.