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Study: Alabamians’ personal income boosted by federal COVID aid

Alabamians’ boost in personal income was lower than in neighboring states, however.


Personal income among Alabamians was 3 percent higher during the second quarter of this year compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent nationwide study.  

Researchers with The Pew Charitable Trust found that the personal income of people across the U.S. grew post-pandemic, thanks in part to federal COVID aid. 

Alabama’s 3 percent growth was lower than neighboring states, however. Georgia saw a growth of 5 percent, Mississippi had a 4.3 percent growth and Tennessee recorded a 3.3 percent growth, according to the study, which adjusted those personal incomes for inflation. 

“States with the top personal income gains since the pandemic benefited from not only government assistance payments—including the extra relief payments as well as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, safety-net programs, and state unemployment insurance—but also relatively strong earnings growth,” the study reads. 

Personal income includes paychecks, Social Security benefits, employers’ contributions to retirement plans and health insurance, rental income and Medicare and Medicaid benefits. 

State total personal income fell from last year to this year, however. Nationally, personal income fell by 2.8 percent from the second quarter in 2020 to the second quarter this year. 

Alabama’s personal income from the second quarter in 2020 to the second quarter this year fell by 5 percent, a larger drop than neighboring Georgia, at 2.5 percent but slightly lower than Mississippi’s 6.4 percent. 

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“Every state with the exception of California recorded at least a slight decline in total personal income when compared with the abnormally high levels in the second quarter of 2020, after accounting for inflation,” the report states. “States sustained the losses even though earnings from work rose in every state, helping to support state tax collections. Still, the gains weren’t nearly enough to offset sharp across-the-board drops in government assistance, yielding declines in total personal income.”

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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