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Eye On Boise

Thu., Nov. 21, 2013, 12:28 p.m.

Business profits pushed rise in Idaho personal income in 2012, though wages rose only slightly

Total personal income in Idaho in 2012 was up 3.9 percent from 2011, a third of a percentage point below the national average, according to new estimates out today. Rising business profits were a major driver of the growth in personal income, with business profits up 6.6 percent statewide; wages rose only 2.5 percent, compared to 4.3 percent nationally.

One surprise in the numbers was that rural Idaho saw more of a boost than the state’s urban counties, the Idaho Department of Labor reports. Total personal income in Idaho’s 33 rural counties was up 4.4 percent from 2011, two-tenths of a percentage point higher than the national increase. In the state’s 11 urban counties, it was up 3.7 percent, which, was half a percentage point below the national increase.

The difference is even more pronounced for per-capita personal income, which rose 4.6 percent in rural Idaho to $33,649, compared to 2.5 percent in the urban counties to $34,654. But most of the state’s population is concentrated in the urban counties, and they’re gaining residents. Bob Fick of the Idaho Department of Labor reports that just one Idaho county, Custer County, showed a decrease from 2011 to 2012; molybdenum mining there has been soft. You can see Fick’s full report here, including a breakdown by county. (Note: The department issued a corrected report on Friday, slightly modifying the urban vs. rural figures; this link is to the corrected version.)

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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