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Economy in Brief

State Personal Income in Q2 2021
by Charles Steindel  September 23, 2021

Personal income fell sharply in all states in 2021:Q2, reflecting the onset of the withdrawal of federal benefits. The rate of growth of decline was related to average state incomes; higher-income states fared better, since the transfer income was disproportionately large in poorer ones. The sharpest drop was in West Virginia, with a 34.0 percent rate of decline, while DC, almost next door, experienced a 10.1 percent rate of loss (Massachusetts’s 14.5 percent rate was the lowest for states).

Many states did see a double-digit rate of growth of net earnings (employee compensation plus proprietors’ income). North Dakota’s 24.6 percent was the national high; earnings in South Dakota, Mississippi, and Georgia also rose a rates above 20 percent. New Hampshire’s meager 1.8 percent—well below New England’s 5.8 percent—was the lowest in the nation. provides a better snapshot of how the recovery was proceeding. In general, the Southeast and Plains regions saw the fastest growth in earnings, with a surge in farm income especially helping the Plains states. New England and the Mideast—whose states typically have small agricultural sectors—trailed in the growth of earnings. Travel-related sectors generally grew rapidly, most notably in Nevada and Hawaii, though Georgia also saw quite brisk growth in this area.

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