The Potluck

COVID-19 relief spurs personal income growth for Minnesotans

By: - November 16, 2021 1:20 pm

Photo illustration by Getty Images

Minnesotans’ personal incomes were up 3.9% in the first half of 2021 compared to before the pandemic, in line with national trends, according to an analysis by Pew Charitable Trusts.

Personal income grew in every state between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2021 because of pandemic-related government assistance and wage increases, according to Pew. South Dakota saw the largest increase, at 6.1%, and Wyoming had the smallest, at 0.2%.

In Minnesota, pandemic-relief payments and other government aid accounted for the majority of income growth. Without government payments, income would have increased 0.8% from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2021. That’s about the same as the national average.

Earnings alone in Minnesota grew 2.1% during that time period, slightly higher than the national average. South and North Dakota had the highest earnings growth rate — 7.6% and 6% respectively. Thirteen states, many of them in the northeast, experienced earnings declines.

Pandemic assistance in 2020 resulted in historic income growth in Minnesota and across the nation. Personal income rose 5.8% here in 2020 compared to 2019, the highest rate in at least 14 years, according to Pew. The national growth rate was 5.3%.

Correction: This story has been corrected to reflect that Pew Charitable Trusts conducted the research.

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Rilyn Eischens
Rilyn Eischens

Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn was born and raised in Minnesota and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.