Mainers’ personal incomes rose last year, but the increase trailed the national average and slowed toward the end of the year.

The increase of 4.0 percent from 2017 to 2018 put Maine in a tie for second in New England and 27th nationally, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Tuesday. But the growth trailed off at the end of the year, with income growth in the final three months at 3.9 percent, 45th among the states.

Incomes in Maine totaled $64.6 billion last year, up from $62 billion in 2017.

Mainers posted strong income growth in professional, scientific and technical services, which contributed 0.43 percentage points of the overall growth in 2018. Incomes in construction and health care and social assistance also contributed to overall growth. Income from farming was down, cutting 0.04 percentage points from overall growth, and incomes from transportation and warehousing, wholesale trade and educational services were flat.

By broader category measures, Maine’s income growth in transfer receipts – such as Social Security, Medicare and veterans’ benefits – grew by 5 percent last year. Net earnings, a category that captures salaries, were up 3.7 percent and earnings from dividends, interest and rents were up 4.1 percent.

Maine was tied with New Hampshire for the New England region’s second-best income growth for the year, trailing Massachusetts, which posted an increase of 4.3 percent. Connecticut was fourth, with an increase of 3.4 percent, and Rhode Island and Vermont were tied for last at 3.1 percent.

Nationally, the average growth in personal income last year was 4.5 percent. Washington state posted the strongest growth, with an increase in incomes of 6.8 percent, and Hawaii was last, with 2.9 percent growth.


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: