Minnesota now has as many jobs as before the recession, but that doesn't tell the whole story

Image by Tatiana Craine
The latest numbers from the state indicate that Minnesota has finally recovered all the jobs lost during the recession that began in early 2008.

SEE ALSO: Mary Franson thinks City Pages blogger should blame his rent increase on Gov. Dayton

At the end of August, there were nearly 2.8 million jobs in Minnesota, which is the highest number since February 2008.

Relatively speaking, there's no doubt Minnesota's economy is doing well (see our post from June, "Minnesota's economy one of the fastest growing in the nation"). But the feel-good jobs number obscures two other important considerations.

First, the raw jobs numbers and the state's low unemployment rate (5.1 percent in August) don't account for the fact that many people have given up looking for work altogether. In fact, as the Star Tribune reports, August's labor force participation rate of 70.3 percent is the lowest since January 1982.

That's not good, but Steve Hine, labor market economist for the state, says he's not particularly concerned with the historically low labor force participation rate.

"The number of discouraged workers in Minnesota has fallen from 10,900 last August to 6,900 this August, so that does suggest that the decline that we're seeing in participation rates is driven more by demographic or permanent factors," Hine told the Strib, referring to the significant number of workers who are aging out of the workforce instead of giving up hope.

Secondly, the raw jobs number and unemployment rate don't account for the quality of the jobs being created. And on that score, data indicates the new post-recession jobs are lower paying and more temporary than they were in the halcyon days of 2006 and 2007.

Still, it could be a lot worse -- you could be trying to find work in Wisconsin.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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k2yeb topcommenter

To the comments below about jobs...the whole economy relies on our countries focus on two things. Hard work. Spending like rabbits fuck. You might see some significant infrastructure (well more I guess) challenges if the big bad wolf that is our current government doesn't get to stick their hands into your pocket, the pocket you give your money too, and the hand that gives it to them. 

With that said, I agree capitalism sucks at times....but having lived in a foreign country.....well....let's just say I saw a lot of people in Spain looking for that "American Dream". 

I guess one man's asshole is another man's pussy. 

digitalprotocol topcommenter

if this is a progressive society and and even more progressive city, why the fuck would we want more jobs

wouldnt the ideal be less jobs, wouldnt that be progression?

why are we working so hard to create more jobs?  A more refined and progressive society would have less people working and more spending their time purusing leisure activities, like philosophy. 

does anything even matter?

digitalprotocol topcommenter

this is terrible news... this means EVEN more wisconsin HICKS will be invading our communities trying to take our jobs. meaningless and useless jobs

who even wants a fucking job anyways. The only reason i show up to work is to be able to pay for FOOD. food grows for free out of the earth. this is a fucked up system that you have to buy what is readily available or free

CinBlueland topcommenter

Nice work Aaron, you actually got all of the information this time! Thank you for presenting a balanced story.



And he also fucked up the title.

"Minnesota now has any many jobs as before the recession, but that doesn't tell the whole story"

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