Earnings from Salaries Barely Grew in 2012

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Per capita personal income for Connecticut residents increased by 1.9 percent from 2011 to 2012, the second slowest growth in the nation, according to a preliminary estimate that shows Connecticut still has the richest residents.

If the total amount of money received by residents in salaries, bonuses, investment income and Social Security or unemployment were divided equally between every man, woman and child living in Connecticut, each of us would have received $58,908 last year.

That’s up from $57,805 in 2011.

The national gain in personal income was 3.5 percent. Inflation was 1.8 percent.

Connecticut’s income growth was helped by investment income being shifted to the end of 2012 to avoid tax increases in 2013. Income from jobs only increased by 1 percent for the year, less than inflation. Across the country, earnings from jobs increased by 3.3 percent.

That doesn’t mean that the typical worker only received a raise of 1 percent, because this is all income from wages. So if the number of high-paying jobs fell in the state, the remaining workers may have had more substantial raises.

The biggest drag on Connecticut income growth was the finance and insurance sector. Salaries and bonuses paid to workers in that sector fell by $1.8 billion in the state from 2011 to 2012, according to this preliminary estimate.

The other major drag on Connecticut income growth was state and local government, which includes the casinos. The amount paid to government employees and casino workers fell by $328 million — 1.99 percent — statewide in 2012. The only states that had bigger contractions in that area were Nevada, Louisiana and Wisconsin. (Casino workers in Nevada are not counted as government workers, since those casinos are not run by Indian tribes).

While the per capita income is affected by the earnings of the 1 percent, our relative wealth is still very high when measured by the median household income. In 2011, the most recent data available, half of Connecticut households earned more than $65,753. Only New Jersey, at $67,458, and Maryland, at $70,004, were higher. The midpoint of income distribution for U.S. households was $50,502.


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