Personal income increased by 1 percent in Washington state between the second and third quarters of 2017, faster than any other state in the country. That’s according to a new report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) which looks at overall trends in personal income and earnings across the U.S.
Earnings — defined as wages and salaries — increased by 1.2 percent in Washington. Personal income extends beyond earnings to money residents make from their jobs and other assets.
The information sector was the strongest driver of earnings growth in Washington, accounting for an increase of 5.7 percent. That’s more than a third of the increase in the state’s total earnings. The primary factor in that growth is the vesting of employee stock grants which startups and bigger tech companies often use to compensate employees.
Nationally, personal income increased 0.7 percent in the third quarter of 2017. That’s up from Q2, when personal income increased by an average of 0.6 percent. The leading industries in overall personal income growth were healthcare, finance and insurance, and construction.
Washington state and Seattle metro’s unemployment rates hovered at 4.5 percent in October and November, according to the Employment Security Department’s monthly report. Between November 2016 and November 2017, Washington added an estimated 97,900 jobs on a not-seasonally-adjusted basis.