Personal income growth across Louisiana grew by 4% during first quarter this year compared to fourth quarter, which was faster than the national average of 3.4%, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data recently released. Year-over-year growth was 3.5% between first quarter 2018 and first quarter this year. 

Personal income refers to all wages generated by individuals and their investments or Social Security benefits. Louisiana ranks No. 17 across the nation for personal income growth during first quarter, whereas West Virginia had the No. 1 slot.

Meanwhile, Texas grew by 3.9%, Mississippi by 3.6% and Florida by 3.7% during first quarter and ranked No. 20, No. 26, and No. 4 respectively.

Louisiana added $2 billion in personal income during the period, including $636 million in net earnings. 

But some industries saw less robust growth during first quarter. 

Construction industry earnings in the state were hardest hit, as earnings from construction jobs declined by $284 million - which was a decline of half a percent. 

Farm earning dropped by $83 million, records show. Finance and insurance earnings fell by $57 million whereas information sector jobs – often in technology – dropped by $25 million. Transportation and warehousing declined by $2 million during first quarter. 

Meanwhile, the biggest earnings gains by industry was retail trade, where earnings grew by $159 million. Likewise, wholesale trade grew by $72 million during first quarter. 

In the manufacturing sector, non-durable goods earnings increased by $92 million and durable goods increased by $73 million. For mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction earnings grew by $34 million. Forestry, fishing and related industries earnings increased by $36 million. 

In some ways Louisiana tracked national trends by industry, such as the decline in farm in finance and insurance but also the jump in retail trade and oil and gas. The state bucked national trends for construction industry earnings growth and information sector jobs. 

The per capita income in the Baton Rouge metro area was $46,935 as of 2017, the most recent available data, up from $46,169 in 2016, records show. Similar trends held true in other metro areas, the per capita personal income for Lafayette was $44,585 in 2017, up from $43,887 in 2016. In the New Orleans metro area per capita personal income grew from $48,571 in 2016 to $49,013 in 2017. 


Email Kristen Mosbrucker at kmosbrucker@theadvocate.com.