By EXPRESS STAFF
Strong investment earnings and solid business profits combined with modest wage gains last summer to push Idaho’s total personal income up 1 percent on an annualized basis, the state Department of Labor reported last week.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated Idaho’s third quarter personal income at an annualized $57.4 billion, nearly $550 million more than in the second quarter. The increase was a tenth of a percentage point below the national average to rank 32nd among the states.
Personal income is the value of all wages, business profits, investment earnings and transfer payments like Social Security, unemployment benefits and pensions.
Investment earnings rose 2 percent, a tenth of a point higher than the national average to rank eighth in the country and account for 40 percent of the increased income between the April-June and July-September quarters.
There was income growth across all economic sectors except for a fractional decline in utilities.
Business profits were up 1.6 percent, a third of a point higher than the national average to rank 11th among the states. Farm profits drove the increase, rising 3.2 percent from the second quarter, while nonfarm profits matched the national increase at 1.1 percent.
Wages, which increased slowly during the initial three years of the recovery, mirrored the national increase of 0.6 percent to rank midway among the states at 25th, the Labor Department reported.
There was income growth across all economic sectors from the second to third quarters except for a fractional decline in utilities. Government also showed a slight decline.
Since mid-2010, a year after the recession officially ended, total personal income in Idaho has risen 15 percent, three-tenths of a percentage point more than the national average to rank 21st. That growth ahead of the nation was primarily the result of strong investment earnings – up 25 percent for the eighth best growth among the states – and significant increases in Medicaid and Social Security.
Medicaid payments to health care providers in Idaho were up 45 percent. Only Indiana had a greater increase over the three-year period, when the increase nationally was under 16 percent.
Social Security payments rose 18 percent from mid-2010—two percentage points higher than the increase nationally to rank seventh among the states. The increase reflects the expanding 55-and-older population, which comprised more than 25 percent of Idaho’s total population in 2012.