Personal income higher state-wide
November 27, 2012
A significant surge in business profits,
especially in rural Idaho, pushed 2011 total
personal income higher in 42 of the state’s 44
counties. In resource-dependent Lewis and Idaho
counties, business-profit declines were offset
by higher than average wage increases to boost
total personal income there as well.
It was only the sixth time in the last 40 years
that every county recorded an increase in
personal income. The last was in 2007, the peak
of the last expansion.
Estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Economic
Analysis showed total personal income increases
ranging from a low of 1.1 percent in Gem County,
where total wages fell 3.4 percent but business
profits jumped 11.1 percent, to a high of 22.3
percent in Clark County, where total wages also
fell 3.4 percent while business profits jumped
Personal income in the 33 rural counties
combined was up six-percent from 2010, a half
point higher than the national average increase
for rural areas. At the same time the 11 urban
counties posted a 4.7 percent increase, a half
point lower than metropolitan areas averaged
Wage increases were essentially the same – 2.4
percent in the five metro areas and 2.3 percent
in the rural counties. But while business
profits were up 7.2 percent in urban Idaho, they
soared 22.2 percent in rural areas.
Statewide, personal income was up 5.1 percent in
2011, a tenth of a percentage point below the
The average annual wage also grew slightly
faster in rural Idaho in 2011, up two-percent
compared to 1.8 percent in the urban areas.
The largest increase was 10 percent in Camas
County. Six rural counties saw the average wage
decline with the largest loss in Owyhee County
at 1.4 percent.
Boundary County saw total income go up by 5.8
percent in 2011, compared to the year before,
wages go up 6.6-percent and business profits
increase 14.4 percent. The average wage in the
county for 2011 was $31.719, up 2.7-percent from
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