Good News, Bad News On Wyoming Personal Income
A new report from the U.S, Bureau of Economic Analysis says Wyoming's personal per capita income was down slightly last year compared to the year before.
Even so, the Cowboy State still had the ninth-highest such number in the country.
But a senior State Economist says people need to keep a few facts in mind about that ranking. Jim Robinson says Wyoming typically does well in national surveys because it has a small population and because such a large percentage of the state's jobs are in the high-paying mining sector of the economy.
Because of those factors, he says the state will almost always rank in the top ten in the country in personal income.
Robinson also says the state's personal income declined by 1.7 percent in 2016 at a time when the national per capita personal income was going up by 3.6 percent. The Rocky Mountain region did even slightly better, logging a 3.7 percent increase in personal income last year.
But once again, Robinson says the Wyoming raw number doesn't tell the whole story.
He says the important number for the state might be the fourth-quarter personal growth of 0.6 percent, which came after declines in each of the previous two quarters of 2016. Robinson says that trend tends to confirm what he is seeing in other economic data that shows the state's economy is at least not getting any worse and may have hit bottom.
He says the numbers tend to show the "contraction of the economy that we have seen for the last year and a half is probably over."