Posted at 1:50 PM on March 17, 2011
by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Jobs & unemployment
We've reported before that the hand wringing about Minnesota losing out, economy-wise, to Wisconsin, isn't supported by the data. Facts show Minnesota's done better than the Badger State in keeping people employed and adding jobs in the recovery.
But now we have a compelling, long-term view of the two state economies that should convince you Minnesota's been topping Wisconsin for more than a decade.
The chart below shows the Coincident Economic Activity Index for Minnesota, Wisconsin and the U.S. for the last 30-plus years.
The index is produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. It calculates the index using nonfarm payroll employment, average hours worked in manufacturing, the unemployment rate, and inflation adjusted wages. Long-term growth in the state's index matches long-term growth in its GDP, the Philly Fed says.
It's a pretty well respected measure of state economic health. And thanks to the St. Louis Fed we can put the data easily into chart form (St. Louis updated all its numbers today, through January). Click on the chart for a larger view. Or click here for a really large view.
It shows the Minnesota and Wisconsin economies closely matched for 20 years but then separating around 2000 with Minnesota on top. The economic activity gap continues and then widens during the recession.
The St. Louis Fed charts mirror what the Minneapolis Fed published in December.
We'd love to hear from folks from either state about the data and how they read it. What happened around 1999-2000 that set Minnesota on a stronger economic path than Wisconsin? What's your experience been?
Post something below or contact us directly at MinnEcon.
It's a discussion we ought to have and one that can be grounded in good stats.
Jed Carlsonemail@example.com via Duluth News Tribune.