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Perception please meet the reality of Minnesota’s jobs climate

Despite actual employment data showing below average job creation for 2015 in Minnesota, Gallup just ranked Minnesota the top state in the country for job creation.

The Dayton administration lost no time in advertising these nation leading results.  They even put their top graphics team to work to draw up a snappy design showcasing the results, which is pictured below.  I guess the cogs undulating with the wavy line are supposed to depict how the cogs of Minnesota’s economy are just rolling right along past every other state economy.

Gallup Job Creation

Last week, however, the Dayton administration’s Department of Employment and Economic Development released the latest jobs numbers for Minnesota that revealed a very, very different job creation story.  As I reported earlier, these actual jobs data show Minnesota job growth in 2015 fell short of the U.S. overall—1.5 percent Minnesota growth versus 1.9 percent U.S. growth.

I seem to have missed the Dayton administration’s graphic depiction of this subpar job creation performance.  American Experiment, however, didn’t miss the trend—yes a trend, not just a 2015 experience—and created a video on Minnesota’s falling job growth to help highlight this basic fact.

So here we have yet another example of the disconnect between Minnesotan’s perception of the economy and the reality, yet another refrain of the verse on how us Minnesotans are all above average.

Indeed, the Gallup Job Creation Index is based purely on perception.  It polled 3,951 workers and asked them if their employer was hiring, not changing, or letting workers go.  46 percent of Minnesota workers reported their employer was hiring and 8 percent reported their employer was letting people go.  Subtract 8 from 46 and you get Minnesota’s indexed score of 38, which was highest among any state.  Employees, of course, don’t have full knowledge of their employer’s hiring and firing practices and so the index really just measures how secure people feel in their job.

Not surprisingly, upbeat Minnesotans also do very well on Gallup’s just released Well-Being Index.

Minnesotans have a lot to deservedly feel good about and the state does top the nation on important measures of well-being like the poverty rate.

Nonetheless, no one is served well by ignoring actual data that shows we’re falling short on important economic indicators, such as the job creation numbers for 2015, to say nothing about touting a silly Gallup index that flies in the face of reality.

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