Kansans’ personal income growth lagging behind other states

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The economy is letting more people put more dollars in their pockets, but in Kansas, it’s not as much money as in other states.

Personal income grew at a rate of 5.4 percent in all 50 states combined, from the first quarter of the year to the second. But in the middle of the country, some states are lagging behind, including Kansas.

Kansas’ rate was at 3.9 percent growth. You can see a link to all of the numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis here.

Washburn University economics professor Rosemary Walker said one part of the Kansas economy is weighing down the state’s numbers.

“The farming sector isn’t doing really well right now. Actually, there was negative personal income growth in the farming sector for the first quarter of the year, and so that’s hurting the Kansas personal income growth,” Walker said.

The number of workers in the state is also impacting income. Walker said the state’s slow population growth could keep good paying jobs in other states.

“We’re not bringing in the young adult population,” said Walker. “The population isn’t growing, you need a good active young adult population for the innovation, the new industries, the new development.”

Walker said cities in Kansas should also focus on making communities more attractive to the younger generation, and it starts with people that are already here.

“Keeping the young people around keeps the ideas around,” Walker said.

She said entrepreneurs are more likely to keep a new business in the state if it’s tax friendly and if they like where they’re living.

From 2017 to 2018, Kansas’ personal income rose $1,500 to more than $50,000.

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