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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Unemployment

Unemployment is down in Minnesota. People have differing views on this.

Generally, of course lower unemployment is a good thing. However, the devil is in the details. According to MPR (but nowhere else in the media as far as I can tell), much of the decrease in unemployment was the result of people giving up their search for a job, at which point they are no longer considered to be "unemployed" for statistical purposes. In reality, only about 2,500 people found work; many thousand more simply gave up.

I think most people would agree that unemployment really goes down when people get jobs, not when they get up. Plus, what jobs are being created? Are they high-skill, high-paying jobs? Or are they jobs at Wal-Mart and McDonald's? These things are important.

Of course Pawlenty is going to toot his horn about this. Perhaps Democrats should acknowledge that a reduction in unemployment is a good thing, but point out that Pawlenty has shortchanged education funding and the other things necessary for unemployment to be reduced by high-paying jobs.

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