Trump Boom Continues as Personal Earnings Up in Most States

Income rose significantly in 22 of the 24 industries measured by federal Bureau of Economic Analysis in Department of Commerce

Statewide personal income increased at a significantly faster rate in 2017 than in 2016, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), adding to the growing evidence of a sustained expansion since President Donald Trump took office.

The increases averaged 3.1 percent last year, compared to only 2.3 percent in 2016, the last full year of President Barack Obama’s tenure in the Oval Office. The BEA is a unit of the Department of Commerce.

Washington state led the expansion with a 4.8 percent increase, followed by Idaho at 4.7 percent, Utah at 4.4 percent, Arizona at 4.3 percent and Colorado and California at 4.1 percent. North Dakota was the only state to show a year-to-year decline in earnings, at 0.3 percent.

The Far West region led the nation at 4.1 percent, closely followed by the Rocky Mountain region at 4.1 percent. Next came the Southeast states at 3.4 percent and the Southwest at 3.1 percent. Bringing up the rear among regions were the Plains States at 1.9 percent.

The Mid-Atlantic states showed a 2.9 percent average growth, followed by New England at 2.7 percent and the Great Lakes region at 2.5 percent.

Earnings in 22 of the 24 industries BEA measures showed increases in 2017, led by health care and social assistance, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction, according to BEA.

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There were some notable declines, however, with farm earnings, especially in the Plains States, decreasing 6.6 percent in 2017, the fourth consecutive annual decline in the agricultural industry. Also down was mining, which was primarily responsible for Alaska’s meager 0.4 percent increase.

The new BEA numbers follow release of February’s unemployment rate at 4.1 percent as the economy created 313,000 new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Virtually all of the major economic indices are up since January 2017, with some of the upward trends beginning under Obama and accelerating since Trump became president.

Senior editor Mark Tapscott can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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