Personal income in Arkansas fell 29.8% in the second quarter, with increases in earnings more than offset by the declines in pandemic-related government aid, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday.
Only five other states -- Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico and West Virginia -- saw steeper drops in personal income than Arkansas.
West Virginia personal income fell the most, 34%, among the 50 states and Washington, D.C. Massachusetts enjoyed the smallest decline in personal income for the quarter, ending July 30 down 14.5%.
Nationally, personal income fell 21.8% in the same quarter after increasing 56.8% in the first quarter, according to the bureau's estimates. Arkansas' personal income differential between quarters was even more stark with personal income jumping 74.5% in the first quarter, largely on the strength of the government aid.
"The 2021 second-quarter estimates of state personal income reflected the continued economic recovery, reopening of establishments and continued government response related to the covid-19 pandemic," the bureau said. "In the second quarter, government assistance payments associated with pandemic-related assistance programs, such as direct economic impact payments and expanded unemployment benefits, declined."
Arkansas' personal income fell to $149.1 billion in the second quarter from $162.9 billion in the first quarter, according to the bureau.
Net earnings in the state rose by $2.1 billion, or 11.6%. The bureau defines net earnings as "earnings by place of work" -- the sum of wages and salaries, supplements to wages and salaries, and proprietors.
Dividends, interest payments and rent rose by $398 million, or 5%. By contrast, government aid fell by $16.3 billion, or 75.6%.
In the United States, net earnings rose 10.7%. Dividends, interest and rent rose 4.4% and government aid fell 72.6%.
"The decrease in transfer receipts primarily reflected a reduction in direct economic impact payments provided by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act and a decrease in state unemployment insurance compensation," the bureau said in the release. "Transfer receipts decreased in every state, ranging from -$2.5 billion in the District of Columbia to -$185.6 billion in California."