By Pat Kessler

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — New Minnesota job numbers are showing steady recovery from the worst days of the recession just a few years ago.

In fact, Gov. Mark Dayton says those numbers have never been better.

But is it true? Here’s what we found…

Minnesota’s unemployment numbers are down, and job numbers are up.

“We now have the total number of jobs in Minnesota over 2.8 million for the first time in history,” Dayton said on Thursday. “The most jobs we have ever had in the history of our state.”

Minnesota was hit hard by recession in 2008, losing thousands of jobs as the unemployment rate soared.

But on Jan. 1, 2014, Minnesota had 2,812,300 million workers. That is the highest number on record, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Meanwhile, Minnesota’s unemployment rate is down to 4.7 percent as of January 2014. That’s down from a brutal high of 8.5 percent in May and June of 2009.

But it’s not all good news, and the governor doesn’t always mention this: The number of people who are underemployed, who lost their jobs and are now earning less or can’t find full-time jobs, is still troublesome. That number has gone from 12.8 percent in 2011 to 10.6 percent in 2013.

Still, Dayton says Minnesota has recovered all of the jobs it lost in the recession.

When he took office in January of 2011, Minnesota had 2,662,700 jobs. Now there are 2,812,300 jobs. That’s a positive difference of 149,600 jobs.
A review of the governor’s numbers shows his claims about Minnesota job growth are true.
That’s Reality Check.

Here are some of the sources we used for this Reality Check:

January 2014 Unemployment, Jobs

Current Employment Statistics, Detail

Minn. Employment

Minn. Labor market Information Office

Gallup Job Creation Index

Minnesota Employment/Unemployment 2003 – 2014

Minnesota Median Income

Underemployment 2009

Underemployment 2013

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