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Thursday, March 25, 2010

South Dakota Personal Income Up in Q4, But Down 4.4% for 2009

The good news: South Dakota personal income shot up 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 2009. That's the fastest growth in the nation, which saw positive income growth in every state and a nationwide growth rate of 0.9%

The bad news: we're digging out of a hole. For the whole year, South Dakota personal income dropped 3.5%. Per capita personal income dropped 4.4%. Only Wyoming and Nevada saw their personal income drop more sharply.

Overall, South Dakotans made a billion dollars less than they made in 2008. What happened?
  • Farming took the big hit, making up almost all of the decline. Farm personal income dropped 3.50%.
  • Next biggest drop was in durable goods manufacturing (that's Gehl and Terex), down 0.59%.
  • Drops in personal income in wholesale trade and construction were barely more than 0.1%.
  • All other sectors stayed virtually the same. Of course, not making more than you did last year isn't progress when your insurance premiums go up 23%.
  • Almost all of the drop came in Quarter 1. Our personal income went up a titch in Q2, down a similar titch in Q3, then jumped in Q4. That jump, like the earlier drop, came largely from farming, as every other sector stayed flat.
Worth noting: we're not that poor. Our per capita personal income actually ranks 25th in the nation. (So if the state had an income tax, we could rank 25th in state funding for education... right?) We beat Iowa and Montana, but not Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

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