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

Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


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