The components of personal income in Idaho have changed since 1979 and the three recessions over the next seven years. Wages and business profits accounted for more than two-thirds of personal income in 1979. Today they combine for almost 55 percent.
Filling that void have been government transfer payments, primarily Social Security and Medicare, which rose less than 11 percent to more than 18 percent over the past 35 years.
Investment earnings have remained relatively constant at around 20 percent.
The remaining transfer payments were bolstered during the recession when record unemployment insurance benefits exceeded $600 million in both 2009 and 2010.
Wages dropped from 57 percent to just below 50 percent as a component of Idaho personal income from 1979 through the triple recession from 1980 to 1987. After the slide, wages remained right around 50 percent of total personal income until the mild recession in 2000 when they began a steady slide to their current level of 43.5 percent.
At the same time, business profits remained relatively stable at around 12 percent.