Higher Social Security payouts help Florida post a big jump in personal income

Published June 27, 2017

Personal income grew 1.3 percent in Florida in the first quarter of this year, a four-way tie among all states for second-fastest growth behind Idaho.

Florida's rise, however, was tied not to bigger paychecks but bigger government payouts.

Transfer receipts — a category that includes such government funding as refundable tax credits and Social Security payouts — rose 2.9 percent in Florida, the biggest growth spurt among all states and far higher than the 1.5 percent average among states.

The quarter included a 0.3 percent increase in the Social Security cost of living adjustment. The growth in transfer receipts had the largest impact in Florida and in Louisiana where it accounted for almost half of each state's personal income growth.

On average, total personal income among states rose 1 percent in the quarter.

Tying Florida in the No. 2 slot for the biggest jump were Louisiana, Michigan and Texas. Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa had the slowest growth, and Nebraska at -0.1 percent was the only state where personal income declined.