Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Minnesota Unemployment Trend Worst In 22 Years

Bookmark and Share

The October 2008 unemployment numbers released late last week by Dan McElroy, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, reveals the Gopher State is enduring its worst jobless trend in more than two decades.

October’s 6.0 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate marks the second time out of the last three months that Minnesota’s jobless numbers have reached 6 percent (August’s rate was 6.2 percent while September’s was 5.9 percent).

Prior to August 2008, Minnesota had not endured a single month with a 6 percent unemployment rate since early 1986 – when the Gopher State had a 6.0 percent seasonally adjusted jobless rate in January and February of that year. Minnesota’s current 5.3 percent average unemployment rate for 2008 is also the highest yearly average since 1986 (5.6 percent).

Minnesota’s highest unemployment rate since the mid-1970s occurred during the Reagan recession of 1982. In November of that year the jobless rate in the Gopher State peaked at 9.0 percent.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate is still less than the national average, however, which hit 6.5 percent in October - its highest level since March 1994.

However, Minnesota currently has a much higher seasonally adjusted jobless rate than neighboring Wisconsin (5.1 percent), Iowa (4.4 percent), South Dakota (3.3 percent), and North Dakota (3.4 percent).

Still, despite presiding over the state during these trying economic times, Governor Tim Pawlenty’s approval rating has impressively sustained itself in the mid-50s. Recent polls, conducted by the Humphrey Institute / Minnesota Public Radio (October 24-28) and SurveyUSA (October 17-19), found 60 percent and 55 percent of Minnesotans approving of Pawlenty’s job performance respectively. Pawlenty’s approval rating has not dipped below 50 percent since early November 2006, shortly after his reelection.

Minnesota Unemployment Rate, 1976-2008

Year
Percentage
2008*
5.3
2007
4.6
2006
4.1
2005
4.2
2004
4.6
2003
4.9
2002
4.5
2001
3.9
2000
3.1
1999
2.8
1998
2.7
1997
3.3
1996
3.9
1995
3.7
1994
4.1
1993
4.9
1992
5.1
1991
5.2
1990
4.8
1989
4.3
1988
4.3
1987
5.1
1986
5.6
1985
6.0
1984
6.3
1983
8.0
1982
8.1
1981
5.7
1980
5.9
1979
4.3
1978
4.0
1977
5.3
1976
5.9

* Through October 2008.

Source: Compiled from Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Previous post: CSPG Report: Potential for Change in the Senate Recount
Next post: MN Senate Recount: Challenges in Franken Territory On the Rise

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting