Last week the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis released their preliminary 2010 personal income data (pdf) (which includes revisions to previous years).
The chart below shows the private sector share of personal income since 1929 (the first year of available data) to 2010 (the last year of available data). The opposite of the private sector is the public sector which is defined as all government compensation paid to employees (military and civilian) plus all personal current transfer receipts (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, etc.).
As the chart clearly shows, the private sector has been steadily crowded-out by the public sector. Nationally, the private sector has plummeted 24 percent to 68.7 percent of personal income in 2010 from 92.7 percent in 1929. More troubling, 2010 is the lowest private sector share in history after dropping another 0.6 percentage points from 2009. How low will it go?
However, the situation in Maine is much worse than the national average. A new all-time low was set in 2010 at 63.1 percent which, like the national average, was lower than in 2009 by 0.6 percentage points. Maine’s private sector now ranks as the 41st largest in the country (or, conversely, the 10th smallest). Again, how low will it go?