Personal income rose 0.3 percent in South Dakota in the first quarter of 2016, compared to a 1.0 percent increase for the US, according to new data released by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. South Dakota ranked 47th among the fifty states, trailed only by Louisiana, Wyoming and North Dakota.
Substantial declines in income from farming and mining hammered the Plains region, which lagged the rest of the country in the first quarter. Nationally, farm earnings dropped 3.5 percent in the first quarter, after falling 9.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. Meanwhile, mining earnings declined for the fifth consecutive quarter and were a major contributor to income losses in Wyoming and North Dakota. According to the BEA, “Since peaking in the fourth quarter of 2014, mining earnings have declined 15.8 percent nationally, 21.8 percent in Wyoming and 44.7 percent in North Dakota.”
South Dakota’s limited income growth was primarily driven by increases in transfer payments, which includes Social Security and other government benefits paid to individuals for which no current services are performed. Increases in these transfer payments accounted for 53 percent ($67 million) of the $126 million increase in personal income in the state.
Earnings by sector rose in Construction (up $68 million), Health Care and Social Assistance (up $66 million), as well as Finance and Insurance (up $42 million) and accounted for the most significant gains in South Dakota, while earnings from Farming fell by $255 million.
For more information on trends in personal income in South Dakota, visit the Bearfacts page at the US Bureau of Economic Analysis. Trends in Median Household Income are available on the South Dakota Dashboard.