Arkansas personal income increased by 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016, a slightly slower pace than the nationwide growth rate of 0.9%. From the fourth quarter of 2015 through the end of 2016, income growth in Arkansas was 3.2%, compared to 3.7% nationwide. Since the beginning of 2010, incomes in Arkansas have been rising at a 4.1% annual rate, slightly below the 4.3% U.S. pace.
The personal income report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis featured data based on 2016 annual averages. From 2015 to 2016, personal income in Arkansas grew at a 3.2% rate — a growth rate that ranked 27th among the 50 states. Across the country, growth rates ranged from -1.7% in Wyoming to 5.9% in Nevada.
Total earnings by place of work expanded at nearly identical rates in Arkansas and the U.S. in 2016 — 4.05% and 4.06%, respectively. The table below reports a breakdown of earnings by industry. For both Arkansas and the nation, the sector contributing the most to earnings growth was Health care and social assistance. Several other service sectors showed relatively strong growth as well. The weakest sector for earnings growth was Mining — reflecting the ongoing slump in fossil fuel prices and extraction activity. A surprisingly strong sector was Construction, which grew at a 7.3% nationwide and 5.2% in Arkansas.
Per Capita Income
With a population growth rate of 0.3 from 2015:Q5 to 2016:Q4, personal income per capita in Arkansas grew at a 2.9% rate. U.S. population growth over the same period was 0.7%, resulting in a per capita income growth rate of 3.0%. In the fourth quarter of 2016, U.S. per capita income stood at $50,207, while Arkansas’ was $39,725. As a percent of the U.S., Arkansas’ per capita income ended the year at 79.1%, down slightly on net from a year earlier.