First Quarter Personal Income Growth Data: Varies Widely by State

By at 23 June, 2020, 2:32 pm

by Raymond J. Keating-

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis just released state personal income data for the first quarter. The data provides a peek at differences among the states as the pandemic was hitting the U.S.

For good measure, the numbers can be teased a bit so as to get a look at income gains less government transfer payments (with government aid dollars causing large distortions in recent data).

The following two tables show the top and bottom ranked states in terms of growth in personal income less transfer payments, that is, growth in net earnings (mainly, the sum of wages and salaries, supplements to wages and salaries, and proprietors’ income less contributions to government social insurance) plus dividends, interest and rent.

Table 1: States with Percentage Gains in Personal Income Less Transfer Payments of More Than 1% in the First Quarter 2020 

Rank State Percent Change in Personal Income Less Transfer Payments
1     Utah 2.2
2     Texas 1.8
3     Iowa 1.7
4t     Minnesota 1.5
4t     Virginia 1.5
6t     Nebraska. 1.3
6t     Idaho 1.3
8t     Connecticut 1.2
8t     Georgia 1.2
8t     Arizona 1.2
8t     New Mexico 1.2
8t     California 1.2


Table 2: States with Negative Percentage Changes in Personal Income Less Transfer Payments in the First Quarter 2020

Rank State Percent Change in Personal Income Less Transfer Payments
39t     Pennsylvania -0.1
39t     Mississippi -0.1
39t     West Virginia -0.1
39t     Montana -0.1
43     Tennessee -0.3
44     Indiana -0.4
45t     New York -0.6
45t     Kentucky -0.6
45t     Louisiana -0.6
48     Nevada -1.3
49     Michigan -1.5
50     Hawaii -1.6


So, as the crisis hit, states like Utah, Texas, Iowa, Minnesota and Virginia were faring best in terms of income growth. At the other end, New York, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Michigan and Hawaii suffered the most. These numbers, like some other recent data, provides some clues as to how deep the relative economic holes might be among the states.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.


News and Media Releases