Figures released Thursday by the federal government show Wyoming had a per capita personal income of $56,724 in 2017, the eighth highest such number in the United States.

The report was compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis [BEA]. Wyoming's per capita income outranked both the average for the Rocky Mountain region [$48,023] and the U.S. [$50,392] in 2017.

But Wyoming personal income growth at 1.8 percent compared to 2016 was well below the Rocky Mountain regional growth rate of 4.0 percent U.S. growth rate of 3.1 percent over that same period.

Senior Wyoming Economist Jim Robinson says an uptick in mining activity, including improving oil prices, help drive the increase in personal income for the year.

He calls the report another sign of ''gradual improvement'' in the Wyoming economy, along with other economic indicators that have shown Wyoming slowly pulling out of an economic downturn caused by low energy prices over the last few years.

He notes oil prices have been averaging anywhere between $60 and $62 per barrel in 2018, compared to between $45 and $50 a year ago. Robinson says looking at 2017 as a whole, the fact that three of the four quarters showed personal income growth, and the other quarter held steady at no change tends to verify the belief that Wyoming's economy is slowly improving.

He also cautions, however, that the Cowboy State's economy still has not completely recovered from the slump of the last few years.