Jennifer Burnett's blog
State personal income continued to increase in 2012, growing by 3.5 percent over 2011. That growth rate was slower, however, than in 2011, when income grew by 5.2 percent over 2010. Personal income grew the most in North Dakota in 2012—by an impressive 12.4 percent—while personal income fell slightly in South Dakota—the only state to have negative growth over the period—falling by 0.2 percent.
Real median household income fell between 2010 and 2011 by 1.5 percent—the second consecutive annual drop—landing at $50,054 in 2011. Nevada saw the biggest drop from 2010 to 2011 in real median household income—10.9 percent—while Oklahoma saw the biggest year over year increase—9.0 percent. Median household income in 2011 ranged from a low of $39,856 in Kentucky to a high of $68,876 in Maryland. From 2010 to 2011, 28 states experienced a decrease in real median household income while 21 states saw an increase and one state—North Carolina—saw no year-over-year change.
Nationally, real GDP increased 2.2 percent in 2012 compared with an increase of 1.5 percent in 2011. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, exports, residential fixed investment and private inventory investment contributed the most to the increase in real GDP in 2012, gains that were offset somewhat by negative contributions from public (federal, state and local) spending.
Unemployment rates remained elevated in 2012, although rates have dropped since the Great Recession ended. In 2010, the national unemployment rate was 9.6 percent. Throughout 2011, the rate hovered around 9 percent, while the average annual rate was 8.1 percent for 2012. At the end of 2012, Nevada and Rhode Island had the highest unemployment rates, both hitting 10.2 percent. North Dakota reported the lowest rate at 3.2 percent.
Elise Gould and Natalie Sabadish at the Economic Policy Institute recently took a look at health expenditure data and found some interesting patterns – chiefly that health spending in this country is distributed extremely differently among certain groups. As their cool infographic below shows, a big chunk of what we spend as a country on health care goes to a tiny fraction of the population. In fact, half of all health care dollars are spent by only five percent of the population, while the top 20 percent of spenders consume 82 percent of all health-care dollars.