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W.Va. Sees 2nd. Highest Income Growth in the Nation

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A report released by the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that West Virginia has seen the second largest increase in personal income growth in the nation for the second-quarter of 2020.

Despite being gripped by the coronavirus-pandemic, every state in the Union has experienced growth in this category, and the United States is currently showing an annual increase of 34.2%. West Virginia’s increase of 69.9% is behind only the 76.3% seen in Massachusetts. The District of Columbia experienced the smallest amount of personal income growth, with 15.3%.

At his coronavirus media-briefing on Friday, September 25, W.Va. Governor Jim Justice touted this increase as a significant and meaningful accomplishment.

“Absolutely this is the good, good, good stuff,” the Governor said. “West Virginia’s personal income growth rate, in the second-quarter of 2020, is the second-highest personal income growth rate in the nation. It just came out. I could not possibly be happier about anything at this moment, with all the tough news that we have,” Gov. Justice said. “Now, we all get it that there’s a lot of people still out there hurting. And we all get that there’s a lot of people wondering if my job is going to come back. And we all get that we’ve got to continue to flip rocks and do anything we can to get everybody on this boat that is going north at full-steam ahead. I couldn’t be happier about being ranked second in the nation. The only way I could be happier is to be first. But, at the same time, I want everybody to know we’re not going to quit digging until every single person that’s out there hurting, we’re going to help them.”

According to the report, transfer receipts nationwide also saw a significant increase from $80.3-billion in the first-quarter of 2020, to $2.5-trillion in the second-quarter. The BES report indicates that these increases are due in large part to the increases in state unemployment-compensation. Also leading to the increase in transfer receipts were the $1,200 economic impact payments provided by the CARES Act. Nationwide earnings decreased by 27.5% in quarter-two, after a 3.4% increase seen in quarter-one.

“The decrease in earnings reflected the partial economic shutdown following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first-quarter of 2020,” according to the report.

Quarter-two also saw property income decrease across the country, at a rate of 8.6%. This is after a marginal increase of 1.1% in quarter-one. At 12.1%, the state of Utah experienced the largest decline.

However, West Virginia’s 4.8% decrease was the smallest dip in property income of any state in the nation. The BEA is scheduled to release tables for all 50-states, as well as the District of Columbia, illustrating the effects of pandemic-response programs on personal income on October 15.

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