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Idaho sees feeble growth in personal income

Idaho’s personal income continued to lag the rest of the nation during the second quarter of 2012, the Idaho Department of Labor said Monday.

Personal income rose 0.7 percent to just more than $53.6 billion on an annualized basis.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found the increase three-tenths of a percentage point below the increase nationally, which places Idaho 48th among the states. Only Wyoming, at 0.6 percent, and New Mexico, at 0.4 percent, performed more poorly.

The income estimates for the April-June quarter followed significant downward revisions in Idaho’s personal income for the previous three years, more adequately reflecting the impact of the recession and the sluggishness of the recovery, the Labor Department said.

Personal income (the value of all wages, business profits, investment earnings and transfer payments like Social Security, unemployment benefits and pensions) was reduced 0.6 percent for 2009 to under $48 billion. It was dropped 1.1 percent in 2010 to $49.6 billion, and then last year’s estimate was cut 1.3 percent to $52.1 billion, dropping Idaho’s ranking among the states from 11th at 5.4 percent – three-tenths higher than the increase nationally – to 26th at 5.1 percent – a tenth below the revised national increase.

Wages and salaries rose just a 0.3 percent during the spring quarter, less than half the national increase of 0.8 percent, while nonfarm business earnings were up 1 percent, a tenth of a point higher than the increase nationwide.

Agriculture saw a 6 percent decline in personal income from the first to the second quarters, but the rest of the private sector posted gains, most of them relatively modest. Compared to a year earlier, however, the key sectors of construction and manufacturing were lower by a percentage point.

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