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Americans Made an Additional $1.1 Trillion Last Year on...

Newsdeck

World

Americans Made an Additional $1.1 Trillion Last Year on Stimulus

Pedestrians cross a street in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an order for residents to stay at home, warning that the city is approaching a “devastating tipping point” in its fight against Covid-19 that would overwhelm the hospital system. Photographer: David Swanson/Bloomberg
By Bloomberg
25 Mar 2021 0

(Bloomberg) --Americans earned an additional $1.1 trillion last year -- the most ever in data dating back to 1930 -- thanks entirely to stimulus checks and other government aid.

By Alex Tanzi
Mar 25, 2021, 1:00 PM – Updated on Mar 25, 2021, 9:10 PM
Word Count: 276
Total U.S. personal income rose 6.1% last year to $19.7 trillion as a surge in pandemic-era aid outpaced gains in wages, property values and other sources of wealth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The dollar amount of so-called transfer receipts, which include Covid relief payments, steered income growth in 26 states while increases in other types of personal income led in 25 including the District of Columbia, the preliminary estimates show.

Income vs Transfers
The report illustrates how important government relief programs have been in helping to shore up Americans’ finances as the world’s largest economy recovers from the pandemic. On top of stimulus checks, an additional $498 billion was doled out in state unemployment benefits last year, according to the data.

Personal income growth ranged from 8.4% in Arizona and Montana to 2.4% in Wyoming. Gains were strongest in the West.

2020 Wages
For the nation, wages increased 0.3% in 2020, the smallest gain since 2009. Northeastern and Midwestern states that have experienced industrial declines saw the sharpest declines in wages last year.

In the final three months of 2020, after the expiration of some government aid, incomes decreased 6.8% at an annual rate after decreasing 11.3% in the third quarter. Coastal states suffered the most.

The new data, published Wednesday, also provides a look at how the pandemic affected state economies by industry. For example, New York’s arts, entertainment, and recreation sector suffered a $7.8 billion loss while accommodations and food services declined by $10.1 billion.

(Updates with fourth quarter data)
© 2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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