Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Minnesota-U.S. Unemployment Gap Reaches Historic Level

Bookmark and Share

April's 2.7-point unemployment rate difference in Minnesota's favor vis-à-vis the national average is the largest in decades

Thursday's announcement by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development that the Gopher State's seasonally adjusted jobless rate for April had fallen by one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.2 percent may seem like only marginally good news for Minnesotans.

However, the real story behind the numbers is best seen through the lens of history.

A Smart Politics analysis of available Bureau of Labor Statistics data dating back to January 1976, finds that the 2.7-point difference between the national unemployment rate (9.9 percent) and Minnesota's rate (7.2 percent) is the largest on record in the Gopher State's favor.

The previous mark was 2.6 points, reached on two occasions, in June 1992 and December 2009.

In June 1992, the national jobless rate was 7.8 points while Minnesota's was 5.2 points. Last December, the national rate was 10.0 points, while Minnesota's was 7.4 points.

To put into perspective just how much the Gopher State's job situation has been historically better than that of the country overall, a Smart Politics analysis finds Minnesota's unemployment rate to have been lower than the national average for 401 of the last 412 months, or 97.3 percent of the time since 1976.

Minnesota's jobless rate has been equal to the national rate eight times (1.9 percent) and higher than the national average for only three months (0.7 percent) - in March, April, and May of 2007 (at just +0.1-point higher each time).

Minnesota's jobless rate has been at least 2.0 points less than the national average for 64 of the past 412 months dating back to January 1976.

By comparison, Wisconsin's jobless rate has been at least 2.0 points lower than the national average in just 48 months since 1976, and lower overall in only 334 of the last 412 months, or 81.1 percent of the time.

Wisconsin has had the same unemployment rate as the nation in 22 months (5.3 percent) and has been higher than the national average in 56 of the last 412 months (13.6 percent) - or more than 18 times that of the Gopher State.

Wisconsin's unemployment rate for April fell from 8.8 to 8.5 percent.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Remembering the Historic Gubernatorial Class of 2002
Next post: Otremba Retirement Inches GOP Closer Towards Goal of House Takeover

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

Political Crumbs

No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


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).


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