Gov. Mark Dayton gave a late-season State of the State address this week. In it, he highlighted some of the bright spots in Minnesota’s economic, education and health outlook as evidence that changes made during his tenure are making the state better.
PoliGraph looked at three of those statements this week.
“There are more than 2.8 million jobs in Minnesota today. More jobs than ever before in our state’s history. 150,000 more jobs than when I became governor.”
Using seasonally adjusted Department of Employment and Economic Development data going back to 1990, Dayton’s claim checks out: There are roughly 2.81 jobs in Minnesota today, and that’s more than the state has seen in recent history.
It’s also true that there are about 151,000 more jobs today than when Dayton took office in January 2011.
Of course, it’s important to put these numbers in context. The nation as a whole has been recovering from the recession for several years now. According to DEED, Minnesota went into the recession earlier than the nation and came out of it a bit earlier, too. Since then, the state’s growth has essentially tracked the nation’s growth.
“Our graduation rate, nearly 80 percent, is the highest in a decade.”
According to data from the Department of Education, 79.5 percent of seniors graduated in 2013 up from about 77 percent the year before
“This increase is twice the yearly increase seen over the past three years, showing acceleration in progress for Minnesota seniors,” the education department said when it released the numbers.
Minnesota’s graduation rate is among the highest in the nation. In fact, graduation rates everywhere are on the rise, particularly among Hispanic and African American kids.
However, when it comes to graduating lower income kids, Minnesota’s rate is on the low side compared to other states – about 58 percent, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Education.
“We have the fifth lowest percentage of citizens without health insurance coverage.”
This statement is also correct. Only 8.7 percent of Minnesotans lack health insurance, following Massachusetts, Vermont, Washington, D.C., and Connecticut which boast even lower rates.
Oriane Casale, Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Josh Collins, Department of Education
Linden Zakula, spokesperson, Gov. Mark Dayton