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Economy and jobs


Minnesota's Unemployment Rate Stays Flat in December

Minnesota's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 7.4 percent in December 2009 - unchanged from November

Will Pawlenty Have a Minnesota Economic Recovery to Run on in 2012?

Minnesota has endured second lowest increase in unemployment in the country since the 2008 Election

How Does the Current Minnesota Unemployment Situation Compare to 1982?

Early signs show rate of jobs recovery in Minnesota moving at twice the rate of the recovery in the early 1980s

Minnesota Has 2nd Largest Decrease in Unemployment in U.S. Since Obama Took Office

Seven-state West North Central geographical division of the Midwest continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation

Minnesota and South Dakota Unemployment Rates Rise; Wisconsin Remains Flat

Unemployment in Minnesota has increased 35.7 percent from one year ago

'Cautionary' Drop in September Minnesota Unemployment Rate Is Largest in Decades

A Smart Politics historical analysis of unemployment data over the last four decades finds the 0.7-point drop from August to September to be the largest percentage point decline in jobless claims since at least January 1976

Iowa Unemployment Soars at Historic Rate; Governor Culver's Rating Hits Record Low

Chet Culver has seen his job approval ratings drop 37 percent from December 2008 to August 2009

Wisconsin's Unemployment Rate Drops for First Time in 15 Months

During the previous one and a quarter year span, jobless claims in the Badger State increased 105 percent through July, from 4.4 to 9.0 percent

Minnesota Unemployment Rate Drops to 10-Year Low Against National Rate

The U.S. rate is 1.7 points higher than the Gopher State for the largest percentage point difference since April 1999

Minnesota Has 3rd Lowest Increase in Unemployment Nationwide Since Enactment of Federal Stimulus Bill

As it turns out, the three-tenths of a percent decrease in jobless claims announced last week by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is the backdrop to an even larger story of (relatively) good economic news for Minnesotans. While Minnesota has endured record setting increases in unemployment over...

Unemployment Down in Minnesota and South Dakota, Flat in Wisconsin

New unemployment data released this week for the month of July in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin provides largely good news on the labor force front in the Upper Midwest. In Minnesota, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 8.4 percent in June to 8.1 percent in July. Minnesota's jobless...

Unemployment Continues to Rise at Historic Pace Across Upper Midwest

June was not a good month for jobs in the Upper Midwest, with unemployment increasing in Minnesota and three of its four neighboring states - Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. While unemployment remains below the national average across the region, the current rate of increase of jobless claims remains on...

South Dakota Sets Historic 76 Percent Yearly Increase in Unemployment Mark in June

The South Dakota Department of Labor released new unemployment numbers Wednesday for the month of June - numbers which solidify the past twelve months as the worst stretch in modern history for the Mount Rushmore State's job market, according to available Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data going back to...

What Goes Up, Goes Down Slowly: A Long Road to Recovering Job Losses in Minnesota

With new unemployment numbers set to be released on Thursday, Minnesotans are bracing for news as to whether the state will continue to follow the leveling-off pattern of job losses from the last 3 months, or whether unemployment will rise closer in line to the nation overall (currently at 9.5...

Iowa Endures Largest Monthly Increase in Unemployment in Quarter Century

The new numbers released late last week by Iowa Workforce Development continue to highlight the worst employment trend the Hawkeye State has faced in more than three decades. Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 5.1 in April to 5.8 percent in May - the biggest net and percentage increase...

South Dakota Unemployment Rate Reaches 5 Percent for First Time Since 1985

New unemployment numbers released by the South Dakota Department of Labor quickly doused the short-lived optimism about the economic situation in the Upper Midwest, which had seen historic increases in the jobless rates across the Upper Midwest halt and slightly reverse course in April in four states - South Dakota,...

Minneapolis Index Crime Rate Falls 18 Percent from April 2008

The Minneapolis Police Department's official Uniform Crime Report data for April 2009 finds crime in Minnesota's largest city down 18 percent from one year ago. The 18 percent 12-month drop is the largest in the city dating back more than two years to February 2007, when crime was down 23.9...

Minnesota and Upper Midwest Being Spared the Worst of US Job Loss Crisis

While Minnesota and the rest of the Upper Midwestern states are still in the midst of enduring some of the largest unemployment rates each has endured for many years, most of the region is historically doing quite well on the employment front when compared to the situation of the country...

Wisconsin Unemployment Rate Rises for Record 7th Straight Month

Last week’s news from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development that the state’s unemployment rate had increased from 8.5 percent in March to 8.6 percent in April marked an inauspicious moment for the Badger State’s labor market. Although the rise in seasonally adjusted jobless rate for April was relatively modest,...

Iowa Unemployment Rate Falls for First Time in Nearly Three Years

New numbers released this week by Iowa Workforce Development find the Hawkeye State joining Minnesota, South Dakota, and North Dakota in seeing a slight drop in the unemployment rate for the month of April. Iowa’s jobless rate fell from 5.2 in March to 5.1 percent – marking the first drop...



Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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