Personal income in Arkansas increased by 1.0% in the first quarter of 2015, outpacing the national average 0.9%. Arkansas’ growth rate ranked 25th among the 50 states. The 1st quarter increase in income comes on top of an upwardly revised figure of 1.9% growth in the 4th quarter (previously reported at 1.2%). Over the past four quarters, incomes have increased by 4.9% in Arkansas, compared to 4.4% for the entire U.S. Relative to the previous cyclical peak (2008:Q2), incomes have risen 22.6% in Arkansas.
Farm income and proprietors’ income more generally were down, both in Arkansas and nationally. On the other hand, personal current transfer receipts were up sharply, reflecting several special factors including a 1.7% cost-of-living adjustment to social security benefits.
Earnings was up 0.7% and accounted for 44% of total personal income growth. As shown in the following table, earnings growth was relatively strong in Utilities, Construction, Management of companies and enterprises, and Accommodation and food services. In addition to the decline in farm income, earnings from Manufacturing and Mining were also negative.