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Editorial: Everyone in W.Va. was wrong on income growth (including this newspaper)

From the Charleston Gazette-Mail:

In an editorial over the summer, we applauded the news that West Virginia had the best income growth rate in the country for the first quarter of 2019. But we tempered that with the context that growth rates here were largely linked to temporary economic boosts from construction.

We also explained an income bump in West Virginia can push percentage points up by a lot, because income rates across the state are typically lower than other places throughout the country.

Turns out, we were wrong. In fact, everyone was, because the data was incorrect.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis — which had put out the information ranking the Mountain State first in income growth — adjusted its findings. West Virginians’ income didn’t grow by 5.6 percent for the first quarter. It grew by 1.5 percent, ranking it 47th in the nation. Furthermore, combined growth for the first two quarters of the year puts West Virginia 40th overall.

New Census data found wages in the Mountain State hardly moved, mostly because of the loss of 4,000 pipeline construction jobs — jobs that were giving a temporary boost to the economy. …

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