CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A $2.47 trillion spike in government assistance payments during the pandemic has caused personal income to skyrocket in every state, with the spike being especially large in West Virginia, a study released Thursday by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows.
In West Virginia, personal income jumped 14.4% in the second quarter of 2020 — the sixth-highest spike in the U.S., and well above the national average of a 9.7% increase, the study found.
Prior to the infusion of stimulus payments, West Virginia’s personal income grew at a sluggish 1.1% a year from the end of the Great Recession in 2007 through 2019 — the fourth lowest rate of income growth in the nation, the Pew study notes.
West Virginia personal income grew at an anemic 0.2% in 2019, according to the report.
“Total personal income skyrocketed in every state in the second quarter of 2020, driven by unprecedented support from the government to individuals and businesses facing historic economic distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the temporary federal assistance obscured the coronavirus’s blow to every state’s economy, as earnings — the bulk of personal income — plummeted,” the Pew report states…