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March 24, 2021

CT’s personal income growth near last in U.S. for 2020

Photo | Contributed U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis map showing growth in personal income by state in 2020.

Connecticut ranked second to last in personal income growth last year, according to new data from the federal government.

Estimates released this morning by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce, show Connecticut registered a 3% increase in personal income in 2020, the smallest improvement of any state except for Wyoming.

The U.S. average for personal income growth last year was 6.%. That figure marks an improvement from 2019, when personal earnings expanded by 3.9%.

Researchers attributed the entire $1.1 trillion increase in personal income across all 50 states to government relief programs enacted to prop up the economy during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Connecticut residents historically have some of the highest earnings in the country, income growth has been sluggish for years, and a drop off in pandemic-related assistance in the fourth quarter of 2020 may have exacerbated that trend.

The state saw personal income contract by 2.8%in the final quarter of last year, likely due to the expiration of certain CARES Act programs that fall. By comparison, however, Connecticut weathered the fourth quarter better than many Northeast states, including New York, where personal income fell by 13.7%, and Massachusetts, which registered a 13.8% decline.

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