Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


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

Bookmark and Share

Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Dan McElroy and State Economist Tom Stinson were very cautious in their outlook of the Gopher State's jobs situation after DEED released new numbers on Thursday that showed Minnesota's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate had dropped from 8.0 percent in August to 7.3 percent in September.

But if, as Stinson warned, the September numbers might be a statistical anomaly, oh, what an anomaly they would be.

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.

The largest previous drop in unemployment during this span in Minnesota had been 0.5 points, when jobless claims fell from 5.0 to 4.5 percent in March to April of 2004.

In fact, on only seven occasions during the past 33+ years had the monthly unemployment rate fallen by 0.4 points or more.

Largest Percentage Point Reduction in Minnesota Unemployment Rate, 1976-2009

Rank
Period
From
To
Change
1
August-September 2009
8.0
7.3
-0.7
2
March-April 2004
5.0
4.5
-0.5
3
January-February 1976
6.2
5.8
-0.4
3
June-July 1981
5.9
5.5
-0.4
3
June-July 1983
8.0
7.6
-0.4
3
January-February 1984
6.9
6.5
-0.4
3
March-April 1987
5.4
5.0
-0.4
3
December 1977-January 1978
4.6
4.2
-0.4
Bureau of Labor Statistics seasonally adjusted unemployment data compiled by Smart Politics.

Moreover, the reported decline in jobless claims of 8.8 percent from August to September is also the third largest percent drop during this span. Only the March-April 2004 decrease in unemployment of 10.0 percent and the October-November 1998 decline of 9.7 percent have been larger.

Largest Percent Reduction in Minnesota Unemployment Rate, 1976-2009

Rank
Period
From
To
Change
1
March-April 2004
5.0
4.5
-10.0
2
October-November 1998
3.1
2.8
-9.7
3
August-September 2009
8.0
7.3
-8.8
4
December 1977-January 1978
4.6
4.2
-8.7
5
April-May 1997
3.7
3.4
-8.1
6
March-April 1987
5.4
5.0
-7.4
7
February-March 1978
4.1
3.8
-7.3
8
March-April 1998
2.8
2.6
-7.1
8
November-December 1998
2.8
2.6
-7.1
Bureau of Labor Statistics seasonally adjusted unemployment data compiled by Smart Politics.

To put further into perspective just how much of an anomaly a 0.7-point drop in unemployment is in the Gopher State, Smart Politics examined the frequency of percentage point changes in unemployment across the last 400+ months since January 1976.

In more than two-thirds of the cases (68.3 percent, or 276 of the 404 months), the unemployment rate either remained flat (105 months), declined by 0.1 points (92 months), or increased by 0.1 points (79 months).

In 95 percent of the cases (385 months) the unemployment rate ranged from a decrease of 0.3 points to an increase in 0.3 points.

This highlights why the September numbers are so eye-popping and a little too good to inspire Commission McElroy and State Economist Stinson to have strong confidence that they accurately reflect the current jobs situation in the Gopher State.

Frequency of Net Change in Minnesota Unemployment Rate, 1976-2009

Change
Months
Percent
-0.7
1
0.2
-0.6
0
0.0
-0.5
1
0.2
-0.4
6
1.5
-0.3
15
3.7
-0.2
40
9.9
-0.1
92
22.8
0.0
105
26.0
+0.1
79
19.6
+0.2
33
8.2
+0.3
21
5.2
+0.4
4
1.0
+0.5
5
1.2
+0.6
1
0.2
+0.7
0
0.0
+0.8
0
0.0
+0.9
0
0.0
+1.0
1
0.2
Bureau of Labor Statistics seasonally adjusted unemployment data compiled by Smart Politics.

However, in a sign that the Upper Midwestern economy generally might be heading in the right direction, it was announced on Thursday that the unemployment rate also dropped in South Dakota in September, from 4.9 to 4.8 percent, as well as in Wisconsin, from 8.8 to 8.3 percent.

The 0.5-point drop in Wisconsin was tied for the 7th largest on record in the Badger State since 1976.

Unemployment data will be released in the coming days in Iowa and North Dakota.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Bachmann 'Sends a Message to the Left': Raises $89,000 in One Day
Next post: Bachmann Raises $29,000 on Day 2 of 'Send a Message to the Left' Campaign

1 Comment


  • I kinda thought the "socialist" stimulus package would have something to do with this.. [lite snark] Can't drive anywhere in Duluth without seeing some road construction going on.

  • 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