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MO personal income rises 2.2%

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Missouri ranked 20th in the nation in 2010 personal income, a figure that grew by 2.2 percent to $221.5 billion last year, according to data released March 23 by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

California lead the nation with $1.6 trillion in personal income, while the country as a whole saw $12.5 trillion in income in 2010, a 3 percent increase after national averages fell 1.7 percent in 2009.

Compared to Missouri’s neighboring states, the Show Me State’s personal income level was behind only Illinois, $554 billion, and Tennessee, $224 billion.

According to the bureau, personal income is defined as income received by all persons from participation in production, from government and business transfer patients, and from interests. Personal income is measured before the deduction of taxes and is reported in current dollars.

Missouri’s per capita income in 2010 was $36,979 for a national rank of 33. The U.S. average was $40,584, led by District of Columbia’s per capita income of $71,044. Per capita income is based on 2010 census figures, with revised estimates being released in September, making year-to-year comparisons invalid.

Nancy Bass, president of the Springfield Area Human Resources Association, said income might be increasing in Missouri as companies that struggled during the recession attempt to hold on to key employees.

“When the economy went down, a lot of companies weren’t prepared because their budgets for payroll had been based on past years’ performances,” Bass said. “Now they’ve established a new normal, and it may be time to give some of those employees raises.”

She said reasons for raises vary widely based on the individual and the dynamics between the worker, the employer and the economic climate. Bass said many studies show that a majority of employees, regardless of industry, report that they are paid fairly, however, “nobody thinks they’re being overpaid.”

She said the best tip for those seeking higher personal income is to show an employer that they are providing value to the company.

According to the federal report, health care slightly increased its share of earnings to 11.2 percent in 2010, from 11 percent in 2009. Health care passed manufacturing as the largest private industry in 2009 as it continued to expand through the recession and manufacturing earnings declined. Last year, though, manufacturing earnings grew 2.7 percent and now account for 10.2 percent of total U.S. earnings.

Earnings in 14 industries grew in 2010, but remained below 2008 or earlier peaks. Two industries, construction and real estate, continued to decline in 2010. The 4.8 percent decline in construction brought earnings in that industry to its lowest levels since 2001.
Real estate earnings dropped 2.3 percent in 2010, bringing it to its lowest earnings since 2000.

With a budget tied to property tax values, salaries for the 3,400 Springfield Public Schools employees were flat in the 2010–11 school year, said spokeswoman Teresa Bledsoe. The school board approved a 0.5 percent salary increase for 2009–10.

The more than 100 employees at Springfield’s two Hobby Lobby stores are receiving raises starting April 15.

The Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts store, which has 470 locations in 39 states with 16 stores in Missouri, announced it is increasing in its minimum wage for all hourly employees. Full-time hourly workers will be bumped to $12 per hour from $11, while part-timers will see their pay increase to $8.50 from $8 per hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

Rob Benedict, general manager of the 1717 W. Kearney St. store, said the company, which plans to add 35 stores in 2011, wanted to do the right thing by its employees as it grows.

“We work for a company where the ownership is very generous, very giving, and if it has a good year, it gives back,” Benedict said of the private company that was founded by David Green in 1972. “By developing a minimum wage for full-time and part-time employees, they know that they are getting at least this much, and it’s a good wage.”

Benedict said this was the third year in a row that the company has increased its minimums, and, not surprisingly, the move has been popular.

“Our employees have worked hard for this,” Benedict said. “This helps to keep morale up.”[[In-content Ad]]


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