Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Minnesota Has Lowest Rate of Increase in Unemployment in Nation During Obama's First Year in Office

Bookmark and Share

Gopher State shed the fewest jobs across the country with just a 1.4 percent net rise in its jobless rate from January 2009-January 2010; 50-state average is +25.5 percent

With seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers for January 2010 now released for all 50 states at the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Minnesota's jobs situation vis-à-vis the rest of the country is rosier than any other state through the first year of President Barack Obama's administration.

A Smart Politics analysis of BLS data from January 2009 through January 2010 finds the Gopher State to have absorbed only a 1.4 percent net increase in unemployment, from 7.2 to 7.3 percent, during Obama's first 12 months in office - the lowest rate of increase in the nation.

In fact, only four states in the country have seen jobless rate increases of less than double digits: Minnesota (1.4 percent increase), North Dakota (5.0 percent), Vermont (8.1 percent), and Oregon (8.1 percent).

The average rate of increase in unemployment during this 12-month span across the 50 states and District of Columbia is 25.5 percent.

The five states that have suffered through the most severe escalation in the rate of men and women filing jobless claims are Wyoming (+72.7 percent), West Virginia (+60.3 percent), New Mexico (+44.1 percent), Illinois (+39.5 percent), and Idaho (+38.8 percent). The District of Columbia has also undergone an increase in unemployment of +42.9 percent from January 2009-January 2010.

While Minnesota does not have the lowest unemployment rate in the country - that distinction belongs to neighboring North Dakota (at 4.2 percent) - the Gopher State has seen its unemployment rate improve from the 29th lowest in the nation to the 13th lowest since President Obama took office.

The 16-state jump up the employment ladder for Minnesota is also the best in the nation over the past year. Oregon (moving up 12 states from #49 to #37), Vermont (+11 from #17 to #6), and Maine (+11 from #30 to #19) also significantly improved their employment standing vis-à-vis the rest of the nation.

West Virginia's 16-state slide was the biggest (falling from the 13th lowest rate in unemployment to the 29th), followed by Wyoming's 13-state fall (from #4 to #17), and Illinois' 10-state drop (from #34 to #44).

The remarkable stability in the unemployment rate in Minnesota compared to the rest of the nation has not seemingly benefited Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty, however, whose constituents recently gave him his lowest marks of his 7+ years in office.

The country's economic recession and rise in unemployment started well before Obama took office, of course, but Minnesota still fares very well against the rest of the nation when comparing jobless trends even going back two years to January 2008.

Over the past 24 months, Minnesota has had the 4th lowest increase in unemployment across the country at a rate of 55.3 percent (from 4.7 to 7.3 percent).

Only Alaska (37.1 percent), North Dakota (44.8 percent), and Arkansas (55.1 percent) have had lower increases in the rate of unemployment during this two-year span.

Rate of Increase in Unemployment During Barack Obama Administration by State, January 2009-January 2010

State
Jan-09
Jan-10
Change
'09 rank
'10 rank
Minnesota
7.2
7.3
1.4
29
13
North Dakota
4.0
4.2
5.0
1
1
Vermont
6.2
6.7
8.1
17
6
Oregon
9.9
10.7
8.1
49
37
Indiana
8.8
9.7
10.2
42
34
Colorado
6.7
7.4
10.4
20
14
South Dakota
4.3
4.8
11.6
3
3
Nebraska
4.1
4.6
12.2
2
2
Maine
7.3
8.2
12.3
30
19
Kansas
5.6
6.4
14.3
8
4
Arizona
8.0
9.2
15.0
33
28
Hawaii
6.0
6.9
15.0
15
10
Arkansas
6.5
7.6
16.9
19
17
Missouri
8.1
9.5
17.3
34
32
Kentucky
9.1
10.7
17.6
43
37
Tennessee
9.1
10.7
17.6
43
37
Alaska
7.1
8.5
19.7
24
21
North Carolina
9.2
11.1
20.7
45
42
Virginia
5.7
6.9
21.1
11
10
Montana
5.6
6.8
21.4
8
8
Utah
5.6
6.8
21.4
8
8
Wisconsin
7.1
8.7
22.5
24
23
Maryland
6.1
7.5
23.0
16
16
Georgia
8.4
10.4
23.8
38
36
New York
7.1
8.8
23.9
24
24
Washington
7.5
9.3
24.0
31
29
Ohio
8.6
10.8
25.6
40
40
South Carolina
10.0
12.6
26.0
50
48
Michigan
11.3
14.3
26.5
51
51
Connecticut
7.1
9.0
26.8
24
26
Iowa
5.2
6.6
26.9
6
5
Texas
6.4
8.2
28.1
18
19
Delaware
7.0
9.0
28.6
23
26
California
9.7
12.5
28.9
48
47
Pennsylvania
6.8
8.8
29.4
22
24
Louisiana
5.7
7.4
29.8
11
14
New Jersey
7.5
9.9
32.0
31
35
Rhode Island
9.6
12.7
32.3
46
49
Mississippi
8.2
10.9
32.9
37
41
Massachusetts
7.1
9.5
33.8
24
32
Oklahoma
5.0
6.7
34.0
5
6
New Hampshire
5.2
7.0
34.6
6
12
Nevada
9.6
13.0
35.4
46
50
Florida
8.7
11.9
36.8
41
45
Alabama
8.1
11.1
37.0
34
42
Idaho
6.7
9.3
38.8
20
29
Illinois
8.1
11.3
39.5
34
44
DC
8.4
12.0
42.9
38
46
New Mexico
5.9
8.5
44.1
14
21
West Virginia
5.8
9.3
60.3
13
29
Wyoming
4.4
7.6
72.7
4
17
Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by Smart Politics.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Will Republicans Regain Eric Massa's NY-29 Seat?
Next post: Will Minnesotans Elect Another Lawyer to the Governor's Mansion in 2010?

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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