WIUM Tristates Public Radio

New Data Shows Higher Incomes in the Tri States

Dec 5, 2012

Recent numbers indicate the economy might be picking up steam in the tri states.
The Illinois Department  of Commerce and Economic Opportunity reports per capita personal income in McDonough county rose five-percent…and it increased seven-percent in Hancock County.

Western Illinois University Economics Professor Bill Polley says the trend is also seen across the river.  Lee County’s increase was six-and-a-half percent. Polley said Lee and Hancock counties rely more on agriculture, which might explain McDonough County’s slightly lower growth rate.

WIU Economics Professor Bill Polley

"Western's income growth has been relatively moderate compared to say the corn market," Polley said, "and that tends to moderate those numbers a little bit. But it also cushions McDonough County a little bit in years when farm income is much weaker."

Polley noted the increases are part of a nation wide trend. He said the past few years have seen very small or no income increases. So the recently released numbers are a bit of a relief. Polley said the economy is starting to hit numbers that economists would normally expect in a healthy recovery.

Professor Polley said he expects the growth in per capita income will continue and maybe even increase.

He said often to make up for lack of growth during recession years per capita income can grow at above average rates.