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Idaho County wages gained ground

Personal income rose in all but one Idaho county in 2013, lessening the gap between the average county wage and the national average wage in 36 of the 44 counties, according to estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Idaho County had a total of $58,272,226,000 income for 2013, a 3.9 percent change from 2012. The average annual wage was $37,800, a 3.1 percent change from 2012.

Personal income – the total of wages, business profits, investment earnings and transfer payments like Social Security and pensions – was up 3.9 percent statewide, nearly twice the national growth rate of 2 percent.

And while 31 Idaho counties posted average wage growth in excess of the national rate, the average wage in three-quarters of the state’s counties remained below 75 percent of the national average.

Lewis County in North Central Idaho was the only one to experience a decline in total personal income – the result of a 23 percent drop in farm income.

Idaho’s 2013 average wage was up 2.4 percent from 2012 to $37,800 - 75.6 percent of the national average wage of just over $50,000. In 2012, comparatively weak growth dropped the average Idaho wage to just 74.4 percent of the national average.

Idaho’s highest average wage in 2013 was in Butte County at nearly $85,500, an increase of more than 6 percent from 2012 to stand at 171 percent of the national average. The Idaho National Laboratory is in Butte County. The lowest average wage was in Oneida County in southeastern Idaho at $25,700 - an increase of 2 percent from 2012 to 51.4 percent of the national average.

Overall personal income in the 33 rural counties was up 3.7 percent to $19.7 billion while income in the 11 urban counties rose 4 percent to $38.6 billion. The fractionally lower growth rate in rural Idaho dropped its share of total personal income a tenth of a point to 33.6 percent.

By contrast, average business profits rose by a greater percentage than wages in 29 of the 44 counties. Statewide, average business profits grew 4 percent, just a tenth of a percentage point more than the average wage. Nationally business profits rose 3.4 percent in 2013.


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