Arkansas personal income increased by 1.0% in the first quarter of 2017, the same pace as the national average. The range of growth rates among states ranged from -0.1% in Nebraska (the only state with negative growth) to +1.6% in Idaho.
From the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, personal income in Arkansas increased 3.1%, compared to a 3.7% growth rate nationwide. From the recession trough-date of 2010:Q1, income growth has averaged 4.0% in Arkansas and 4.2% for the U.S.
As shown in the table below, Arkansas farm income rose sharply in the first quarter. The news release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicated that farm earnings was a leading contributor to growth in Idaho, the fastest growing state in the first quarter, but was also a leading contributor to slow growth in other states. The divergence in the contribution of farm income to growth reflected different types of farm output among states. Proprietors’ income also increased sharply in Arkansas in the first quarter, although the growth rate of that category has been slightly lower than the national average over the past four quarters. Although personal current transfer receipts expanded at a rate of only 1.0%, compared to 1.5% nationwide, that category represents the only major component of personal income to outpace the U.S. average over the most recent four quarters.
Earnings by place of work, which comprises about two-thirds of personal income, increased 1.23% in Arkansas in the first quarter, slightly outpacing the U.S. growth rate of 1.07%. For the most part, sectors seeing a decline in income in Arkansas were also slow-growth sectors nationally–these included forestry and fishing, transportation and warehousing, information, and management of companies and enterprises. In addition to farm income, the fastest growing industry groups included mining, construction, real estate, educational services, and administrative and waste management services.