2.1% Unemployment (yes - you read this correctly!)
What is the unemployment rate? The actual answer, in my opinion, is that you can answer this in multiple ways depending on the story you want to tell.
- 9.1% - this is the number that most commonly (and currently) makes the news. It is the U.S. 'macro' unemployment rate. This rate for August 2011 was just announced on Friday, September 2nd.
- 7.2% - this is the rate for Minnesota. Slower to be announced, this is the rate for July and reflects some of the people that were directly impacted by the State of Minnesota shutdown. Typically (although NOT always), Minnesota has a rate that is lower than the national average. We have a very diverse and, relatively speaking, resilient business climate in Minnesota. (Wait for the comparison below, however!)
- 7.5% - this is the rate for the Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington area. As mentioned above, this July number also reflects some of the laid-off State of Minnesota workers.
- 4.3% - my personal favorite unemployment statistic. It is the rate for people that are at least 25 years old and have a 4-year degree (or higher). This number, which I have mentioned several times in the past, is published the same day/time that the macro number is published. The BLS chart that shows unemployment by education level is at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t04.htm. Interestingly, is is approximately 1% lower in Minnesota for this group - meaning a traditionally full employment environment for this population according to labor economists.
- 3.3% - this is the North Dakota rate in July. Yes - you are reading this correctly.