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Blue, Red, and Swing States
The claim by the Obama campaign (Team Obama TO) is that we've had continuous job growth for the last 24+ months. This is more-of-less true, but here we consider the actual data and how it fractionates by Blue, Red, and Swing states.
Let's give TO the small consideration by examining only data from the last 13 months available for employees on nonfarm payrolls from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). See http://www.bls.gov/sae/eetables/tabled1.pdf. Thus, we consider only employment data from April 2011 to April 2012, wherein the numerous Obama interventions should have been in full swing.
The Republicans generally view unemployment and underemployment data as paramount, not to mention the large number of people that have opted out of the jobs market, and moreover not to mention the large numbers of people that have gone on disability. But, is the public really convinced? In this note, we view the Democratic viewpoint of solid increased employment over time and build our case from there.
From the BLS data, there were in April 2011 about 131,274,200 people employed. In round numbers, employment in April 2011 for Blue states was about 50,644,000 jobs, Red states employed in 36,406,000 jobs, and Swing states employed in 44,225,000 jobs.
Over the thirteen months, April 2011 to April 2012, Blue states jobs grew by much more, about 627,700 jobs. Trailing were the Red states with growth with 598,500 jobs, and Swing states by 385,400 jobs.
Naturally, you would expect the Swing states to come in much smaller as there are only twelve (wide sense) of them. No surprises yet.
On the face of it, the Blue states did much better. Now, consider this. Viewing the annual average per state percentage increase in jobs over the same period, we see this.
Overall, annual employment grew over this period by approximately 1.13%. At an annual growth of 0.80%, Swing states are doing most poorly. But significantly Blue states are doing far poorer than Red states. Assuming an unemployment rate of 8.2% of the work force, and an annual employment rate increase of 1.133% it would take a mere 13.5 years to bring the USA back to normal employment levels. Here we ignore population increase, underemployment, and other factors - data that is not quite reliable and significant and yet dramatically increases the time recovery factor.
A couple of points:
Blue States: California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington
Red States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West, Wyoming
Swing States: Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin
Total = 51: This includes the District of Columbia
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