Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


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

Bookmark and Share

New numbers released on Friday by Iowa Workforce Development continue to find the Hawkeye State in the midst of its steepest increase in unemployment in more than 30 years.

Unemployment increased another 0.3 points in August, from 6.5 to 6.8 percent, the highest level in Iowa since July 1986. Of particular concern for Iowa's economy is the rate of increase - jobless claims have risen 61.9 percent during the last 12 months, the largest yearly jump in unemployment in the state dating back to at least January 1976.

(January 1976 is the first month of available data at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website).

In fact, Iowa has set records for the yearly increase in the unemployment rate during each of the last four months, with rising 12-month record highs in May (42.5 percent), June (51.2 percent), July (58.5 percent), and August (61.9 percent).

Prior to 2009, the largest previous 12-month jump in jobless claims was 33.3 percent (from September 1979 to September 1980).

The escalating jobs crisis in Iowa is also taking a political toll on first term Democratic Governor, Chet Culver. Culver, who is up for reelection in 2010, has seen his job approval ratings drop 37 percent from December 2008 to August 2009.

Culver was enjoying solid, steady approval ratings last year of 53 percent (August), 56 percent (September), 56 percent (October), 51 percent (November) and 57 percent (December) according to SurveyUSA polling prior to Iowa's first big jump in unemployment from 4.4 to 4.8 percent in January 2009.

The unemployment rate has since risen 2 percentage points in Iowa to 6.8 percent, and Culver's average approval rating has fallen noticeably along the way, from an average rating of 55 percent from August-December 2008 to an average rating of 44 percent from January through August 2009. Culver received a record low job performance rating of 36 percent in late August, according to a SurveyUSA poll of 600 adults statewide.

Changing Iowa Unemployment Rate and Approval Ratings of Governor Chet Culver, August 2008-August 2009

Month
Unemployment
Culver
August 2008
4.2
53
September 2008
4.2
56
October 2008
4.3
56
November 2008
4.3
51
December 2008
4.4
57
January 2009
4.8
50
Feburary 2009
4.9
46
March 2009
5.2
46
April 2009
5.1
42
May 2009
5.7
48
June 2009
6.2
42
July 2009
6.5
44
August 2009
6.8
36
Note: Monthly unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly approval rating data from SurveyUSA. Polls conducted of 600 Iowa adults.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Wisconsin's Unemployment Rate Drops for First Time in 15 Months
Next post: Minnesota Housing Foreclosure Rate Still Up 67 Percent Since Election Day

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Kevin McCarthy Becomes Least Tenured Floor Leader in US House History

At less than four terms, McCarthy has served 423 fewer days in the chamber than any floor leader in U.S. House history and almost 10 years less than the average leader.

Political Crumbs

The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


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