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Feds: Mainers' Personal Income Jumped 5.4 Percent In 1st Quarter

The personal income of Mainers jumped 5.4% in the 1st quarter of this year. It was the third biggest gain in personal income in the U.S.   The Bureau of Economic Analysis says government transfer payments were the biggest contributor to the increase in personal income. Those were up 18.5% from the 4th quarter of last year.

State economist Amanda Rector says that's due to tax code changes, and also the fact that an unusually large number of Mainers receive Social Security - and they just got a 2.8% cost of living increase.

But Rector says an increase in earnings was also a factor.

"So if we look at the industries that were the largest contributors, health care and social assistance was the first," Rector says.  Retail trade was the second-biggest factor in earnings, Rector says, "and then forestry, fishing and related activities was one of the larger contributors to the increase in earnings."

Rector says the effects of Maine's Medicaid expansion aren't yet clear.

In New Hampshire, personal income grew 3.8% in the 1st quarter of the year.

Updated June 25, 2019 at 2:21 p.m.

Nora is originally from the Boston area but has lived in Chicago, Michigan, New York City and at the northern tip of New York state. Nora began working in public radio at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor and has been an on-air host, a reporter, a digital editor, a producer, and, when they let her, played records.