Blog Posts > Revised Federal Data Puts Brakes on WV Income Growth Claims
September 25, 2019

Revised Federal Data Puts Brakes on WV Income Growth Claims

Charleston Gazette-Mail – West Virginians’ personal income grew at one of the most plodding rates in the nation in the first half of 2019, according to federal data. Read article.

New findings released Tuesday from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis shows personal income in West Virginia grew by 1.5 percent in the first quarter of 2019 and by 4 percent in the second quarter, April through June. That ranks at 40th in the nation over the first half of 2019.

In June, the bureau estimated 2019’s first-quarter income growth rate to be 5.6 percent, which left West Virginia leading the nation for the quarter in income growth. But Tuesday’s adjustment means West Virginia’s income growth rate from January to March was 47th in the nation, rather than first.

According to BEA spokesman Matthew von Kerczek, the revised findings are based on new census data that came in, specifically in the construction sector.

The new data shows a “significant decline in construction wages” between the end of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, he said.

“That definitely makes sense with the news that pipeline work is slowing down, and has been propping up our growth numbers,” said Sean O’Leary, an analyst with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

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