Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


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

Bookmark and Share

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

Although he governs a state mired in a budget crisis and continues to be dogged by the media for his aggressive travel schedule, Governor Tim Pawlenty may nonetheless be quietly padding his 2012 resume for his handling of the Gopher State economy.

With new national unemployment numbers for December set to be announced on Friday morning, the most recent state-level statistics show Pawlenty presiding over the second lowest increase in seasonally adjusted unemployment rates across the nation over the past year.

From November 2008 to November 2009, Minnesota's jobless rate has increased 21.3 percent - from 6.1 to 7.4 percent. That marks the second lowest rate of increase across the 50 states, bested only by Vermont's nation low 20.8 percent increase.

During this 12-month span, Minnesota has moved up 8 slots on the list of states with the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. The Gopher State is currently tied for the 16th lowest jobless rate in the country. Back in November 2008, Minnesota was tied for the 24th lowest.

During this same period, the neighboring state of Iowa has dropped from tied for the 7th lowest to 9th lowest while its rates have increased 55.8 percent. Wisconsin has fallen from tied for 18th lowest to 22nd lowest as its rates have climbed 51.9 percent.

South Dakota's unemployment rate remains the third lowest in the country as it was one year ago, although its rates are up 47.1 percent. North Dakota has moved up from #2 to #1 with a jobless rate of just 4.1 percent even though its jobless rate has jumped 28.1 percent during this 12-month period.

Of course, it is conceptually tricky for a governor of any state to boast about a record that has endured significant job losses, just not as bad as most of the country.

Moreover, when Governor Pawlenty took office in January 2003 Minnesota had the 13th lowest unemployment rate in the nation - so the Gopher State is down three spots across the nearly seven years of the Pawlenty administration. Minnesota's unemployment rate has increased 57.4 percent during that span, which is the 24th highest rate of increase in the country.

That said, Minnesota's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate relative to the national rate has improved during Pawlenty's two terms. Back in January 2003, Minnesota's jobless rate of 4.7 percent was 19 percent lower than the nation overall (5.8 percent). Through November 2009, the Gopher State's 7.4 percent jobless rate was 26 percent lower than the country as a whole (10.0 percent).

And as the Republican Party looks for more talking points heading into the 2010 election season, it may want to note that eight of the ten states with the lowest rates of increase in unemployment since November 2008 have GOP governors at the helm: Vermont (#1), Minnesota (#2), Nebraska (#3), Louisiana (#4), Alaska (#6), North Dakota (#7), Mississippi (#9), and Connecticut (#10).

Change in Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate by State, November 2008-November 2009

Rank
State
Governor
Nov '08
Nov '09
Change
1
Vermont
GOP
5.3
6.4
20.8
2
Minnesota
GOP
6.1
7.4
21.3
3
Nebraska
GOP
3.6
4.5
25.0
4
Louisiana
GOP
5.3
6.7
26.4
5
Colorado
DEM
5.4
6.9
27.8
6
Alaska
GOP
6.8
8.7
27.9
7
North Dakota
GOP
3.2
4.1
28.1
8
Maine
DEM
6.2
8.0
29.0
9
Mississippi
GOP
7.4
9.6
29.7
10
Connecticut
GOP
6.3
8.2
30.2
11
Montana
DEM
4.9
6.4
30.6
12
Kansas
DEM
4.8
6.3
31.3
13
Arkansas
DEM
5.5
7.4
34.5
14
New York
DEM
6.3
8.6
36.5
15
Indiana
GOP
7.0
9.6
37.1
16
Arizona
GOP
6.4
8.9
39.1
17
Pennsylvania
DEM
6.1
8.5
39.3
18
Rhode Island
GOP
9.1
12.7
39.6
19
Missouri
DEM
6.8
9.5
39.7
20
Oregon
DEM
7.8
11.1
42.3
21
Hawaii
GOP
4.9
7.0
42.9
22
Tennessee
DEM
7.2
10.3
43.1
23
Virginia
DEM
4.6
6.6
43.5
24
Georgia
GOP
7.1
10.2
43.7
25
North Carolina
DEM
7.5
10.8
44.0
26
Massachusetts
DEM
6.1
8.8
44.3
27
Maryland
DEM
5.1
7.4
45.1
28
South Dakota
GOP
3.4
5.0
47.1
29
Kentucky
DEM
7.2
10.6
47.2
30
Texas
GOP
5.4
8.0
48.1
31
California
GOP
8.3
12.3
48.2
32
Ohio
DEM
7.1
10.6
49.3
33
South Carolina
GOP
8.2
12.3
50.0
34
Washington
DEM
6.1
9.2
50.8
35
Delaware
DEM
5.6
8.5
51.8
36
Wisconsin
DEM
5.4
8.2
51.9
37
Michigan
DEM
9.6
14.7
53.1
38
Nevada
GOP
8.0
12.3
53.8
39
New Jersey
DEM
6.3
9.7
54.0
40
Iowa
DEM
4.3
6.7
55.8
41
Idaho
GOP
5.8
9.1
56.9
42
Illinois
DEM
6.9
10.9
58.0
43
Oklahoma
DEM
4.4
7.0
59.1
44
Florida
GOP
7.2
11.5
59.7
45
New Hampshire
DEM
4.1
6.7
63.4
46
Utah
GOP
3.8
6.3
65.8
47
Alabama
GOP
6.2
10.5
69.4
48
New Mexico
DEM
4.6
7.8
69.6
49
West Virginia
DEM
4.3
8.4
95.3
50
Wyoming
DEM
3.1
7.2
132.3
Note: Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by Smart Politics.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Beyond Tim Robbins: Fellow Politicians Not Contributing to Bachmann's 2010 Campaign
Next post: Can the GOP Sweep All Four Upper Midwestern Gubernatorial Contests in November?

1 Comment


  • More than likely not. At best he will own that catchy campaign slogan: " I balanced the budget without increasing taxes"

    Now whether the media chooses point out the irony of the techniques used in "balancing" the budget is another thing. The shifts, the one time monies are so called cash management tools to help square the bottom line. But I think that its fair to say, we will be coming back to revisit this issue when the next governor takes office, as most of the cuts have been deferred until after Pawlenty leaves office.

  • 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