Personal income rises 1.9% in Kansas

Personal income in Kansas rose 1.9 percent in the first quarter, the fastest quarterly growth in more than two years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

It made Kansas the 19th- fastest-growing state in the nation for personal income.

Personal income includes pay and benefits, business income, interest and dividends, and government payments such as social security and unemployment insurance.

Kansans working in durable goods manufacturing, oil and gas production, farming, the military and transportation showed the most seasonally adjusted gains.

The rebound for workers in durable manufacturing made up about a quarter of the gain in state income during the first quarter, about $220 million more.

"It's the one bright spot that we see in what is otherwise a very anemic recovery," said Donna Ginther, director of the Center for Economic and Business Analysis at the University of Kansas. "A lot of it is driven by the fall in the exchange rate that has driven up exports."

Second in impact has been the increase in military income in the state, likely reflecting escalating redeployment of soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division back to Fort Riley. The government estimates this has added $150 million to the state's total income in the first quarter.

Agriculture has also had a major impact due to sharply higher prices for both crops and cattle, despite a drought in some parts of the state and rising input costs. The government estimates this added about $113 million in new income.

Those who work in construction, information, real estate, administrative and waste services, and federal civilian government jobs showed a drop in seasonally adjusted income.

The declining sector with the single largest impact on the state because of its size and the depth of its decline was construction, with a seasonally adjusted fall in income of $83 million.

A related field, real estate and leasing, has seen a decline in incomes of $18 million. Both are declines of 2.1 percent in the total incomes in those fields.