3-27-14 W.Va. personal income growth the slowest

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CHARLESTON (AP) — A decline in mining and other industries left West Virginia with the slowest growing personal income nationwide in 2013.

Statistics released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis indicated West Virginia’s personal income grew 1.5 percent in 2013. The highest growth was recorded in North Dakota at 7.6 percent.

The national average of growth has also declined. The bureau reports the national average as 2.6 percent in 2013, down from 4.2 percent in 2012.

According to the agency, West Virginia growth has slowed in part because of declines in mining, durable goods manufacturing and construction. Mining, including oil and gas extraction, however, were major sources of personal earnings growth in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas in 2013.

Some industries in West Virginia followed a national trend and increased, including health care and professional services. National earnings growth was greatest in the professional services and health care sectors.

The statistics indicate personal income growth was also affected by the expiration of the “payroll tax holiday,” a temporary reduction in the personal contribution rate for social security.

Nationwide, earnings grew in 2013 in every industry except civilian federal government, which fell $6.7 billion.

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