While Minnesotans may still be feeling some lasting effects of the recession, the state’s residents are bringing home bigger paychecks—particularly as compared to most of the rest of the nation.
Minnesota’s per capita personal income rose 3.74 percent to $46,227 in 2012, outpacing all but three states, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Per capita personal income for the nation, by contrast, grew 2.73 percent—a full percentage point below Minnesota’s growth rate—to $42,693.
The only three states that outpaced Minnesota in terms of year-over-year percentage increases are North Dakota, where per capita personal income rose 9.86 percent to $51,893, Ohio (up 3.84 percent to $39,289), and Montana (up 3.76 percent to $37,370).
However, Minnesota’s per capita personal income rose more significantly—4.8 percent—in 2011; the increase for the nation as whole during that period was 4.4 percent. Here’s a look at Minnesota’s per capita income over the past six years:
• 2012: $46,227
• 2011: $44,560
• 2010: $42,528
• 2009: $40,950
• 2008: $43,466
• 2007: $41,642
News of per capita income rising in Minnesota comes at a time when the national inflation rate remains low, meaning that people have extra discretionary income and don’t have to use their boosted paychecks to simply cover increasing costs of basic needs. The inflation rate was 1.8 percent in 2012, down from 2.4 percent in 2011.
Income is also rising as the state’s employers add thousands of jobs and continue to outpace the nation in terms of job growth.
Minnesota employers added 14,500 jobs in February
, according to data released last week by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, which also found that the state has gained 50,800 jobs within the past six months—representing the largest half-year gain since 1984. Over the past year, the state has gained 62,400 jobs, representing a growth rate of 2.3 percent—significantly higher than the national growth rate of 1.5 percent during that period.
Meanwhile, Minnesota has regained 159,100 jobs, or about 99 percent, of the 160,100 lost during the recession—or between February 2008 and September 2009.
Minnesota’s unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent in February, well below the national average of 7.7 percent.
Despite the news of incomes on the rise in Minnesota, the Star Tribune
reported that Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota said Wednesday: “We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress, but in my conversations with households and businesses, their outlook does not always seem to be lining up with that kind of positive information.”
He reportedly didn’t have an explanation for the disconnect but said “it’s something for us to keep apprised of.”