Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Minnesota Labor Force Participation Rate Reaches 29-Year Low

Bookmark and Share

The last time the labor force participation rate was this low in the Gopher State was July 1983

minnesotaseal10.jpgWhile new numbers released last week by the Department of Employment and Economic Development found Minnesota's seasonably adjusted unemployment rate ticked down to 5.6 percent for the month of April - tied for the lowest level for that metric since September 2008 - another number also crept downwards.

For the fourteenth consecutive month, the state's labor force participation rate fell or stagnated, coming in at 71.1 percent.

That marks the lowest participation rate the Gopher State has seen since July 1983, when Minnesota hit 71.1 percent on a gradual decades-long rise up to an eventual peak of 75.6 percent reached in March of 2001.

The labor force participation rate is the sum of employed and unemployed workers divided by the civilian non-institutional population at or over the age of 16.

Individuals in the civilian non-institutional population who are not considered to be in the labor force include retirees, students, people taking care of children or other family members, and, perhaps most telling in this economy, those who are neither working nor seeking employment.

Of course, as baby boomers continue to retire, the percentage of individuals who are not in the labor force is likely to increase, and that may account for part of the declining participation rate in the labor force.

Nationwide, the percentage of the U.S. population at or over the age of 65 increased every decade in the 20th Century before falling a bit in the 2000 Census and then rising again in 2010.

In Minnesota, the percentage of 65+ year-old individuals in the state reached a high of 12.9 percent after the 2010 Census after dipping from 12.5 percent to 12.1 percent during the 1990 to 2000 periods.

The current percentage of individuals at or over 65 years of age in Minnesota is virtually identical to the nationwide level of 13.0 percent.

But while the baby boomer variable and its attendant concerns brought about by fewer workers supporting more retirees has been a known quantity for demographers and economists for some decades, of particular concern today is the number of individuals outside the labor force who have simply stopped looking for work.

Because while the percentage of individuals 65 years or older are comprising a larger percentage of the population - a larger percentage of them are also remaining in the labor force.

For example, in 2011, 17.9 percent of 65+ year-old Americans were in the labor force - the highest level since 1964.

Minnesota's 71.1 percent labor force participation rate remains significantly higher than that of the nation overall, coming in at 63.6 percent last month which was the lowest level since December 1981.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Walker's Odds: How Often Do Wisconsin Gubernatorial Incumbents Win Reelection?
Next post: GOP Seeks First Grip on Both US Senate Seats in Decades in Florida, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wisconsin

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

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).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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