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State sees plunge in personal income

29.8% fall listed as U.S.’ 6th worst by Noel Oman | September 26, 2021 at 12:00 a.m.

State sees plunge in personal income

29.8% fall listed as U.S.' 6th worst

Noel Oman

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Personal income in Arkansas fell 29.8% in the second quarter, with increases in earnings more than offset by the declines in pandemic-related government aid, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday.

Only five other states -- Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico and West Virginia -- saw steeper drops in personal income than Arkansas.

West Virginia personal income fell the most, 34%.

Nationally, personal income fell 21.8% in the same quarter after increasing 56.8% in the first quarter, according to the bureau's estimates. Arkansas' personal income differential between quarters was even more stark with personal income jumping 74.5% in the first quarter, largely on the strength of the government aid.

"The 2021 second-quarter estimates of state personal income reflected the continued economic recovery, reopening of establishments and continued government response related to the COVID-19 pandemic," the bureau said. "In the second quarter, government assistance payments associated with pandemic-related assistance programs, such as direct economic impact payments and expanded unemployment benefits, declined."

Arkansas' personal income fell to $149.1 billion in the second quarter from $162.9 billion in the first quarter, according to the bureau.

Net earnings in the state rose by $2.1 billion, or 11.6%. The bureau defines net earnings as "earnings by place of work" -- the sum of wages and salaries, supplements to wages and salaries, and proprietors.

Dividends, interest payments and rent rose by $398 million, or 5%. By contrast, government aid fell by $16.3 billion, or 75.6%.

In the United States, net earnings rose 10.7%. Dividends, interest and rent rose 4.4% and government aid fell 72.6%.

"The decrease in transfer receipts primarily reflected a reduction in direct economic impact payments provided by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act and a decrease in state unemployment insurance compensation," the bureau said in the release. "Transfer receipts decreased in every state, ranging from $2.5 billion in the District of Columbia to $185.6 billion in California."

Print Headline: State sees plunge in personal income

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