Income in Alaska dipped in 2016 after a decade of growth, a drop driven by the one-two punch of job losses and Gov. Bill Walker’s veto that slashed the Permanent Fund dividend to fight the state’s giant deficits.
Alaska remains among the top states for per capita income but its national standing slipped to eighth from fifth. Total personal income statewide fell by 1 percent last year, to $41 billion from $41.5 billion in 2015.
The per capita category consists largely of job earnings but includes other sources of income, such as rental income, Social Security or welfare, and state dividend checks. It counts every Alaskan, including children.
California was seventh in per capita income last year, at $55,987, just ahead of Alaska. The U.S. average was $49,571.
Total personal income declined in only two other states last year, both of them producers of oil. It fell 1.7 percent in Wyoming and 1.5 percent in North Dakota. Like Alaska, economies in those states rely heavily on the energy industry, which has struggled since oil prices began sliding in mid-2014.
On Monday, Fried said Alaska’s income growth before 2016 was in part tied to…