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Strong growth boosts Idaho personal income

Idaho personal income jumped 3.7 percent in 2013, a full percentage point more than the nation to rank third among the states in percentage increase.

Increases greater than those posted nationally for wages, business profits, investment earnings and transfer payments like pensions and Social Security combined to boost Idaho’s total personal income more than $2 billion to over $57 billion for the year, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on Tuesday.

Growth in all four major components of personal income exceeded the growth rates nationally. That economic strength, largely during the second and third quarters, generated a 2.6 percent increase in per capita income – the amount of personal income allocated to every man, woman and child in the state. Although only four other states posted larger percentage increases for the year, Idaho’s per capita income at $35,382 remained lower in 2013 than every other state but Mississippi. Nationally, per capita income rose 1.8 percent.

Weak wage and investment earnings growth compounded by a decline in farm profits decreased personal income growth during the final three months of 2013 when income on an annualized basis fell a tenth of a percent. Idaho was one of only seven states to see personal income fall in the fourth quarter and the only one in the West.

Annually, Idaho’s wages were up 4.4 percent, which ranked fourth nationally. Investment earnings rose 3.9 percent, better than all but 10 other states. And business profits increased 7.1 percent to rank midway among the states.

Farm earnings rose 5.7 percent to a record $2.5 billion while significant earnings growth was seen in health care, financial services and nondurable manufacturing. Earnings in 2013 exceeded prerecession levels in every major sector but construction, durable manufacturing, retail trade and information.

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