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N.D. leads nation in personal income growth again

BISMARCK – Fueled by its strong energy and agriculture sectors, North Dakota boasted the strongest personal income growth in the nation in 2013 for the sixth time in the last seven years, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Tuesday.

The state’s personal income increased 7.6 percent last year to $41.3 billion, compared with a national average increase of 2.6 percent, which was down from 4.2 percent in 2012, according to bureau estimates.

Utah ranked second in the nation with 4 percent growth in personal income. West Virginia saw the smallest growth at 1.5 percent.

Minnesota ranked 17th with 2.8 percent growth in personal income, while Montana ranked 21st with 2.7 percent growth and South Dakota ranked 45th with 1.8 percent growth.

North Dakota’s average per-capita personal income climbed 4 percent to $57,084 last year, which was second highest among states behind Connecticut’s $60,847 and nearly double the state’s per-capita personal income of $29,815 in 2004. The national average last year was $44,543.

Per-capita personal income is total personal income divided by the Census Bureau’s mid-year population estimate, which was 723,393 for North Dakota.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in a news release that the statistics “are more evidence that our efforts to create jobs and career opportunities are getting results.” He said the state is enjoying economic growth in all regions and that the income growth stems from nearly every business sector.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that mining – including oil and gas extraction – was one of the major contributors to earnings growth in North Dakota, Oklahoma (3.3 percent growth) and Texas (3.7 percent growth) in 2013.

“Earnings growth rates in these three states have outpaced the national average not only in 2013, but in each of the four years since the recession,” the report stated.

The strongest contributors to North Dakota’s personal income growth were the farm, mining, construction and trade sectors, the report shows.

Personal income grew more slowly in every state last year than in 2012, which reflected several factors, including the expiration of the payroll tax holiday at the start of 2013, the bureau reported.

The complete report is available

Mike Nowatzki

Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.