So I read the headlines that Minnesota’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.9%, which is outstanding news! Then I continue reading further and discover that we lost 7,500 jobs. How does that work? There were several readers that commented on last months unemployment figures that they lacked trust in the accounting of the figures.
In September, Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent.
The unsmoothed unemployment rate fell from 7.0 percent in August to 6.2 percent in September, which better reflects month-to-month changes. This is the lowest this rate has been in three years.
The national unemployment rate held steady at 9.1 percent in September.
….Minnesota lost 7,400 jobs in September, mainly concentrated in the private sector.
Four sectors added jobs and six sectors lost jobs over the month. The largest job gainer was Government, up 7,000 over the month, with gains concentrated in local government due to hiring for the school year. Other services added 1,600 jobs, Financial Activities added 1,300 jobs, and Mining added 100 jobs
So let’s look at the real information: Population to Employment Ratio. This is a different way to view unemployment, I believe more accurate. I was able to obtain Minnesota’s figures up to date. The Twin Cities metro stats aren’t in yet.
Minnesota is now at a 67.6% Employment to Population ratio. In the graph you can see the trend from 1989 and we should be around 70%. What this doesn’t show us is the impact of the Baby Boomers retiring. Is this going to be a new norm as the baby boomers retire or the echo boomers large enough to keep this ratio? Guess we will have to look at the demographics charts, fodder for another post.
Update: St Louis Federal Reserved released their Chart for Minnesota Unemployment Rate. Adding it to this post for comparison to the Employment to Population ratio.
- Unemployment rates fall in half of U.S. states (usatoday.com)
- Minnesota Unemployment Rate up to 7.2% August 19,2011 (craigkamman.wordpress.com)