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Eye On Boise

Idaho’s real per-capita income jumped in 2013, boosting state from 49th to 47th in nation

Idaho’s real per capita personal income moved up from 49th in the nation in 2012 to 47th in 2013, the Idaho Department of Labor reports; that reflected a jump from $35,476 in 2012 to $36,340 in 2013, a 2.4 percent increase, compared to the national average of 0.1 percent, according to figures compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That means Idaho led the nation in real per capita income gains from 2012 to 2013.

That news follows a July 2 report that Idaho’s total personal income dipped slightly in the first quarter of 2015, after four consecutive quarters of growth. But Bob Uhlenkott, chief research officer for the Idaho Department of Labor, said the 2013 figures are actually more significant, because they’re adjusted both to reflect inflation and population growth. “This is one of the first signs, at least in 2013, that Idahoans really were better off,” he said.

“Idaho’s economy seems to be growing well, but a lot of it people considered retail-type jobs and in-migration of the older population that drives consumer-based economy. So I found it real relevant” that the adjusted 2013 figures showed a significant rise, Uhlenkott said. “We are better off, whether we kind of feel like it or not, in terms of the statistics.” He added, “That’s my favorite statistic on economic well-being – my No. 1 metric I always use is real per capita personal income, because it adjusts for population growth, but it also adjusts for inflation.”

Said Uhlenkott, “That slight dip in the first quarter is not unusual.” It could be related to seasonal variations, or could even end up getting revised in the future, he said. “It’s almost like seasonality has flattened out a little bit,” he said, “but nothing to really suggest yet that we’re seeing a slowdown.” There’s more here on the 2013 report.

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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