Republican policies mean gains for Idahoans: Idaho had fifth-highest growth in real personal income for 2015-16

May 18, 2018

Idaho tied for fifth in the nation for growth in real personal income between 2015 and 2016, according to new data released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Idaho’s real personal income growth for 2015-16 was 2.7 percent. Real personal income takes into account the cost of living, measured by what is called “regional price parity.”

In March the BEA released data showing Idaho was a close second for highest personal income growth for 2016-17, and first in the nation for earnings growth.

Using the regional price parity measurement, Idaho has the lowest cost of living in the West and the 21st-lowest cost of living nationwide including the District of Columbia.

The BEA defines personal income as “the income received by, or on behalf of, all persons from all sources: from participation as laborers in production, from owning a home or business, from the ownership of financial assets, and from government and business in the form of transfers. It includes income from domestic sources as well as the rest of world. It does not include realized or unrealized capital gains or losses.”

Earnings is defined in two ways:

  • By place of work, which is “the sum of wages and salaries, supplements to wages and salaries, and proprietors’ income,” and
  • By place of residence, which is “earnings by place of work less contributions for government social insurance, plus an adjustment to convert earnings by place of work to a place-of-residence basis.”

Regional price parities are defined as “regional price levels expressed as a percentage of the overall national price level for a given year. The price level is determined by the average prices paid by consumers for the mix of goods and services consumed in each region.”