ST. PAUL, Minn. – A net total of 6,600 Minnesotans lost their jobs in August, as the state’s unemployment rate increased to 3.8 percent, continuing to lag far behind its republican controlled neighbors.
Minnesota’s 0.2 percent drop from four to 3.8 percent unemployment from August 2016 to August 2017 is tied for the 36th worst mark in the United States, and significantly lags the nation’s improvement of 0.5 percent, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The difference in performance continues to be a stark contrast between Minnesota and its neighbors who do not fully embrace progressive politics. Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped 0.4 percent in the last year, settling at 3.3 percent, a full half point ahead of Minnesota. Wisconsin and South Dakota have done twice as well as Iowa, dropping 0.8 percent in the last year. Their unemployment rates have settled at 3.4 percent and an astounding 2.3 percent respectively.
In Wisconsin’s case, this showing, four times better than Minnesota’s, saw the Badger state overtake the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. In August 2016, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was higher than Minnesota’s, now it is 0.4 percent lower.
This cannot be attributed to a lower population in Wisconsin either. Unlike Minnesota’s other neighbors, Wisconsin’s civilian labor force in August 2017 was nearly 104,000 people larger than Minnesota’s, and Minnesota had more than 10,000 additional unemployed people compared to Wisconsin.
Of Minnesota’s neighbors, only South Dakota had a rough past year with its 0.4 percent increase in its unemployment rate. The 3.3 percent current rate is still 0.5 percent ahead of Minnesota’s however.
Minnesota was one of 24 states to see its unemployment rate increase in the last month, while 14 states decreased their unemployment rate.
In the last 12 months, all but seven states have seen their unemployment rate drop. These seven underperformers are Alaska, Delaware, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Ohio, South Dakota, and Utah.