Personal income rises above 2008 peak

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Personal income levels in the third quarter of this year rose above their 2008 peak for the first time since the recession began, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Personal income in Colorado hit a peak of $225 billion in the third quarter, up 3.28 percent over the previous $218.1 billion record set in the third quarter of 2008.

Colorado personal income rose 4.8 percent year-over-year.

The state’s income growth surpassed that in the Rocky Mountain Region and in the country, where personal income levels rose 3.13 and 3.11 percent over their respective 2008 peaks.

Over the last 10 years, personal income has grown exactly the same amount, 43.7 percent, in Colorado as in the nation as a whole.

Personal income figures do not account for inflation. However, the rate of inflation over the last 10 years was 23 percent, according to the Colorado Division of Housing blog, which means actual personal income growth is about half of the nominal income growth.

The Division of Housing reports that some of the personal income growth can be attributed to personal current transfer receipts, which does not include wages but does include payments from social security, unemployment insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.

Excluding those personal current transfer receipts, income growth is less robust and is only up .1 percent over peak levels. Adjusted for inflation, there has been negative personal income growth.