Louisiana posts biggest personal income drop

AP News
Posted: Dec 17, 2009 2:57 PM

Louisiana posted the largest drop in personal income during the third quarter of 2009, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday.

Between the second and third quarters of 2009, Louisiana's personal income fell 0.4 percent, putting it at the bottom of all the states. Nationally, state personal income averaged a growth of 0.3 percent during the third quarter.

Personal income includes all forms of income, including employment pay, dividends and interest payments, rent payments and government payments.

BEA economist Matthew von Kerczek said that although the state had a poor performance across the board, much of the drop could be tagged on lower petroleum prices and a slowdown in government payments, especially those tied to hurricane recovery, such as Road Home.

The lower oil price has cut employment in the mining sector and slowed the manufacturing and transportation equipment sectors, he said.

"Going from $150 per barrel to $70 per barrel oil changes the earnings picture substantially," von Kerczek said.

The overall recession appeared to catch up to Louisiana during the third quarter

"Louisiana was kind of slow to enter the recession because of the oil price and the Road Home payments," he said.