"By David Wessel
Personal income fell in 37 states in the first quarter, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Most of the states where income rose were in the Southeast.
Personal income in the fastest growing state, Hawaii, was up 0.8% while personal income in the next fastest growing state, Virginia, grew 0.3%. Earnings growth in these states was concentrated in the federal civilian and military sectors and was accounted for by first-quarter pay raises as well as some initial hiring for the 2010 Census. The federal sector also made substantial contributions to personal income growth in Alaska, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
The largest percentage decrease in personal income, 3.2%, was in Alaska, reflecting a return to normal levels of payments to residents from the Alaska Permanent Fund after a special $2,000-per-person payment to residents in 2008. Personal income fell by more than 1% in five other states, including North Dakota, Missouri and Iowa, in the Plains region as sharply lower farm-commodity prices reduced farm income.
Private-sector earnings fell in all states. In many states, one or two industries accounted for the bulk of the decline in earnings: finance in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island; durable-goods manufacturing in Michigan and Indiana; construction in Arizona and Nevada; mining in Wyoming and Oklahoma; and accommodation and food services in Nevada."