Mississippi personal income increased by over 89% in 1st Quarter of 2021 due largely to pandemic relief checks.
Across the nation, state personal income increased 59.7 percent at an annual rate in the first quarter of 2021 after decreasing 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to estimates released Tuesday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The percent change in personal income ranged from 89.3 percent in Mississippi to 31.1 percent in the District of Columbia.
Mississippi saw the biggest increase.
The reason for the increases are primarily due to the federal government’s COVID relief checks passed earlier this year by Congress that topped $2 trillion. Individuals received $600 under the Trump Administration, and then saw another $1,400 at the start of the Biden Administration.
BEA says transfer receipts increased $2.3 trillion for the nation in the first quarter of 2021, accounting for almost all the growth in personal income. The increase in transfer receipts reflected new government pandemic relief payments provided by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act and the American Rescue Plan Act.
“New data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that personal income rose in all 50 states and DC in Q1 – thanks largely to relief provided in the American Rescue Plan,” the White House said in a release. “This is in sharp contrast to Q4 of 2020, when personal income fell in 27 states and DC. At an annual rate, state personal income increased 59.7% in the first quart of 2021, after decreasing 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2020.”
This rapid spike, however, is not sustainable, as there are currently no future relief checks planned from the federal government that mirror the size of the income injection in the first quarter of 2021. There are child tax credit payments beginning in July for those families that qualify to receive $300 for children under 6 and $250 for children between 6 and 17. Those payments will run through the remainder of 2021.
Further, most states, including Mississippi, have ended the additional federal pandemic unemployment offered from the federal government. State leaders hope this reduction in unemployment assistance will motivate workers to reenter the workforce, citing business complaints of being unable to find workers willing to hire on.