Capitol Comments

According to new data out today from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, state personal income growth slowed in the second quarter of 2011to 1.1 percent.  That's compared to an average growth rate of 2.1 percent in the first quarter. Growth rates ranged from a high of 2.2 percent in Nebraska and South Dakota to a low of 0.7 percent in both Washington and Georgia.

The Great Recession has had a far-reaching and prolonged impact on poverty rates and income across the country with some places – like Greenwood County, South Carolina – seeing their poverty rates double and median household income drop by nearly $12,000, according to the New York Times. From 2007 to 2010, poverty rates increased in every state except five. The same is true for median household income – all states but five experienced decreases.  In 2010, poverty rates ranged from a low of 6.6 percent in New Hampshire to a high of 22.7 percent in Mississippi.  Check out The State of Poverty 2010 to learn more. 

The president’s recently released deficit reduction plan includes a strategy to increase the solvency of state’s unemployment trust funds and to provide some fiscal relief for those states that have borrowed from the federal government to cover their unemployment insurance costs.

U.S. Census Bureau figures released this week reveal that poverty levels were on the rise in 2010, with the percentage of Americans living in poverty at its highest point in 17 years.  Poverty rates range from a low of 6.6 percent in New Hampshire to a high of 22.7 percent in Mississippi.  Over the past 10 years the poverty rate increased in all but three states.  

The American Jobs Act, as proposed by President Obama during his speech on Thursday, includes a number of provisions that would impact states. Following the president’s proposal, the White House released a Fact Sheet and Overview that provides some basic details of the program.