Thursday, September 18, 2008

Income: State

Leave it to me to find unhappiness in the good news that New Mexico's 2.7% annualized increase in personal income in the second quarter over the first quarter ranked sixth nationally and was more than double a year earlier.
Here's the rest of the story. Transfer payments—welfare, social security and the like—jumped 10.7% (All rates here are annual rates) and provided three-quarters of the nice income jump. Transfer payments are what goes up in a weak economy.
Net earnings, real money in other words—the sum of wage and salary disbursements—increased 0.7% and provided 0.64 percentage points of that 2.7% income growth. Proprietors income—small businesses—dropped a bit during the quarter.
Among the sectors, income increases came from areas having to do with the federal government:
Professional and technical services: +0.18%.
Health care: +0.16%.
Federal civilian: +0.05%.
Mining, a key to the state's economic health, increased 0.03%, as did another key, durable good manufacturing. Transportation earnings also grew 0.03%.
Farm earnings, always volatile: -0.32%.
Military: -0.03%.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis, producer of these numbers, included revisions of income from the past three years. New Mexican's personal income was dropped at an increasing rate: 2005 (-1.1%); 2006 (-2.2%); and 2007 (-2.8%).

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