Earlier this year the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced that preliminary jobs numbers for February had put us near our pre-recession peak of 2,780,000, marking an important signpost on the road to economic recovery. How does our economic recovery - which is well underway - compare to our neighbors in the Upper Midwest?
Jobs and Unemployment
Table 1 compares Minnesota's job level with those of the other four states in the Upper Midwest where we are right in the middle. It also compares our unemployment rates with those of our neighboring states. Minnesota also comes in the middle (Table 2).
Table 1: Current Employment versus Pre-Recession Peaks, by State
Date of Pre-Recession High
March 2013 Employment
Percentage of Jobs Recovered
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics
Table 2: Current Unemployment versus Pre-Recession Lows, by State
Date of Pre-Recession Low
March 2013 Unemployment
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics
Some of this may be population related since the states with the larger populations have had more trouble pulling out of the recession (Table 3). On the other hand, North Dakota may never have had a falling off with the population growth related to the oil fields.