TULSA — Oklahoma was the only state that saw no change in first-quarter personal income, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Wednesday.
Nationwide, personal income rose in 47 states and fell in Kansas and Mississippi. Oklahoma's personal income — a measure of the income received by all residents from all sources — remained at $144.9 billion.
“The reason that there was no income growth in Oklahoma is because in the fourth quarter there was a large bonus made in the industry we call ‘management of companies,'” said David Lenze, an economist with the U.S. Department of Commerce. “So, that made the growth in the fourth-quarter personal income rather large.
“What you really need to do in the case of Oklahoma this time is look at the growth from the third quarter to the first quarter.”
The management category includes businesses that typically have their headquarters in Oklahoma and additional operations in other locations, Lenze said.
Because bonuses often are paid at the end of the year, a noticeable jump in fourth-quarter earnings occurred in that category, and therefore affected overall personal income for the state.
Whereas earnings for management were nearly $1.5 billion in the third quarter of 2011, it rose to nearly $2.7 billion by the fourth quarter before declining by $936 million in the first quarter.
Earnings in durable goods manufacturing contributed $292 million to total personal income for the quarter, while state and local government contributed $161 million.
State personal income grew by 0.8 percent in the first quarter from 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, according to estimates form the BEA.
The percent change in personal income across states ranged from 2.3 percent in North Dakota to minus-0.3 percent in Mississippi.
First-quarter earnings declined in eight industries, with the largest decline occurring in real estate. Earnings also have declined for two consecutive quarters in the information sector and for three straight quarters in utilities, according to the BEA.
The decline in real estate industry earnings occurred in all states, while the drop in information earnings occurred in all states except Washington and North Dakota, according to the BEA.
“For the nation, the big increases were in industries like accommodations and construction.” Lenze said. “Now, construction was extremely hard hit in the recession. … Even though it has had the strongest growth in the quarter, it is still operating far below what it had been before the recession began.”
Construction earnings grew 4.0 percent or more in the first quarter in Texas, Iowa, Utah, Nebraska, West Virginia and North Dakota.