Pawlenty mischaracterizes unemployment rate

We’re having a spirited discussion downstream about the unemployment rate compared to the dark days of 1983. I won’t bother repeating the discussion here.

But, Gov. Pawlenty, you’re not helping my point very much.

Said the governor on his radio show today:

“The unemployment number for July has gone up to 5.8% which is a near historic high in our state,which is unfortunate but it reflects a stumbling or struggling economy both nationally and in states like Minnesota.”

Not that near, governor. The 5.8 percent rate is nowhere close to the historic high in Minnesota. That would be 9 percent in 1982. (See statistics)

In fact for nearly two full years between 1982 and 1983, the unemployment rate didn’t fall under 7 percent. We may get to that point, but about four or five times as many people would’ve had to have become unemployed last month than actually did.

Last month’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate, by the way, is exactly the same as the day he took office in 2003. Seasonally adjusted, however, it has increased by about 1.5 percent over that period.

Comments are closed.