Posted at 11:17 AM on October 9, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The digest is light today so we'll lead with DFLer Amy Klobuchar. The Star Tribune takes a look at her record as Hennepin County Attorney.
Pat Condon with the AP has a story saying Klobuchar is getting hit but is hitting back.
Huffingtonpost calls Minnesota political main street.
AP asks some questions of the candidates for governor.
KARE-11 has a story saying school district want levy increases to cover basic needs.
MPR has a story saying there is some confusion over the transportation amendment.
MSNBC's First Read says former Gen. Wesley Clark told Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman Jim Oberstar, a DFLer who represents Minnesota's 8th Congressional Distict, that he would do everything he can to change the war in Iraq.
The Star Tribune says there is a tit for tat in a judicial race in Ramsey County.
The Wall Street Journal has a story on politics in the YouTube era.
Laura also got some analysis from Steve Hine, research director of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. He's one of the great treasures of Minnesota government (of which there are quite a few, by the way). Hine, however, will not be in her piece since DEED would offer up only a "political appointee" to do the talking on tape.
So here's what he provided to Laura ahead of time. Her questions are in bold.
1. Mike Hatch has talked about the "fast food economy", saying the top fastest growing sectors of the economy are jobs in fast food, restaurants, government and temporary work. Is that accurate?
We break out employment growth at various levels of detail, ranging from the super-sector level like Leisure & Hospitality to more detailed industries like Snack & Nonalcoholic Beverage Bars. Fast Food and Full-Service Restaurants are at a middling (in technical terms, a 4-digit NAICS) level of detail, which appears to be what Mike Hatch is referring to. Given this, I have ranked the growth in those 4-digit industries that we estimate monthly over two time periods - Aug '02 to Aug '06 and Aug '05 to Aug '06 (I use Aug as these are the most recent data available and because seasonality requires we compare like months over time). See "4-digit Industries.doc" which shows that over each of these time periods, limited-service eating (aka fast food), full-service restaurants and employment services (two-thirds of which is in temporary help services) are the three top job producers in terms of the absolute number of jobs added. Government doesn't appear because that's a super-sector and so wouldn't provide an apples-to-apples comparison (more like a watermelon-to-apple comparison). You'll notice that although these areas added the most jobs, they aren't the fastest growing in terms of percentage increase in jobs - that goes to medical equipment manufacturing, although these others aren't far behind.
Gov. Pawlenty said in the second quarter of 2006, Minnesota saw more rapid job growth than at any point in 22 years. Is that correct? And if you looked at other three-month periods, not just quarters, would that still be the case?
During the 2nd quarter of '06 (April to June), the state added 32,900 jobs - this was the seventh-highest three-month job gain posted since 1950 (and probably ever since the economy was much smaller before 1950). The most recent three-month span where more jobs were added was Feb - April 1984 when 34,900 jobs were added, and the most recent actual quarter was Jan - March 1984 when 34,800 jobs were added. So it is the case that April to June produced more jobs in absolute terms that any other three-month span in 22 years. However, if you interpret "more rapid job growth" to mean the growth rate in percentage terms, April to June's rate of 1.20% fell short of three three-month periods during the '90s, the most recent being May - July 1997 when the rate of growth was 1.26% on a job gain of 31,200.
Pawlenty also said on a rolling 12-month average, from July 2005 to July of this year, Minnesota saw the largest job growth in the history of the state. How many jobs were created during that time-frame? Is it true that was the largest growth for a July to July period? What are the standard time-frames that labor market experts look at, and how has the state done when you look at those time-frames? How does the July-to-July job growth compare to the boom years of the 90s?
From July '05 to July '06, the state added 76,000 jobs for a 2.81% growth rate. Other July-to-July time spans that exceeded this job gain include '83-'84 (101,800 jobs, 5.89% growth), '77-'78 (88,700, 5.50%), '76-'77 (82,300, 5.38%), '78-'79 (80,100, 4.71%), and '72-'73 (79,300, 5.82%). There are no "standard" time frames, although shorter time frames can be misleading when unusual and temporary occurrences (e.g. a strike) can have a large but short-lived impact. We often focus, therefore on over-the-year growth. By that standard, the July to July numbers are the best we have seen in some time. The last time we exceeded these figures was May '97 to May '98 when we added 79,100 jobs for a 3.18% rate. Other over-the-year growth rates during the '90s that exceeded this past July's included April-to-April '98 (86,600, 3.50%), Jan-to-Jan '98 (76,600, 3.11%), and Sept-to-Sept '94 (80,300, 3.56%). The largest job gain on record was Aug-to-Aug '84 at 113,500 or 6.58%, although Jan-to-Jan '51 had the highest growth rate at 7.54% on 58,400 jobs gained. Extending the analysis of job growth to a two-year time span, the July 2004 to July 2006 gain of 97,300 (3.62%) was surpassed consistently (that is, every month) from March '91-to-March '93 through March '99-to-March '01, a time span that coincides with the official "boom years" of the '90s. This two-year growth peaked during the April '97 to April '99 span at 144,600 (5.84%) during the '90s expansion.
We're giving time on the radio to all of the candidates for governor to make a statement, saying whatever they want to say (within the bounds of good taste and the rules set forth by the FCC, I guess).
We have three in the house so far. RealAudio required.
Posted at 6:39 PM on October 9, 2006
by Tom Scheck
The public file at WCCO-TV and KARE-11 says the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has canceled the first week of their ad buy on behalf of Patty Wetterling. The DCCC canceled the ad buy before the scandal involving former Florida Congressman Mark Foley. The DCCC still has ad time scheduled for the three weeks before the election. As you know, the NRCC is currently running ads on behalf of Republican Michele Bachmann. Wetterling, Bachmann and Independence Party member John Binkowski are running for Congress in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has canceled two weeks of ad time on behalf of Amy Klobuchar. They still have time scheduled for the last two weeks of the campaign. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is not scheduled to run tv ads on behalf of Republican Mark Kennedy at this time.