Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman today expressed great enthusiasm over the Minnesota economy as recent statistics released by the Department of Labor indicate another month of job growth. According to the latest release, the Minnesota added 8,000 jobs in the month of March while the state’s unemployment level remained at 4.1 percent -- well below the national average of 4.7 percent. Coleman views these latest Minnesota numbers as proof that current economic policies are working and that American confidence in the economy is growing.
Over the past year, the state of Minnesota has added 40,600 to its economy and a record number of small businesses -- nearly 54,000 -- have started this past year alone. In addition, March saw a significant increase in the number of high-wage jobs offered by various businesses.
"I also want to emphasize that we’re not just adding jobs to the economy, we’re adding good jobs," Coleman said. "Those who want to cast a shadow of doubt on these soaring economic numbers will have you believe that we’re only adding low-wage jobs. This simply isn’t true. Businesses are building opportunities in high-wage fields, proving job gains in quantity and quality."
The Minnesota economy added about 8,000 nonfarm jobs in March. After adding 1,200 in February and 600 in January. Net employment was flat from January, 2001 through January, 2005. We've seen solid gains in jobs since January, 2004. It took a bit over a year to reach pre-Bush job levels. Since early 2005 we've seen more jobs in the state.
But results recently have been decidedly mixed. What Coleman doesn't say as that the total labor force decreased by 5,000 people in March. The number of unemployed fell by 7,300 in March -- but that February unemployment was the highest we had seen since August, 2004. Total employment in the state is up by only 2,000 since March, 2005 (2.946 million in 2005, 2.948 million in 2006).
The economy, then, is as strong as it has been under Bush's watch. If you compares Bushes to Bushes, things look great. If you compare Bushes to Clintons, you know we can do a lot, lot better.
Look, I don't think Iran belongs on the U.N. Disarmament Commission, either, but you don't improve an institution by pouting every time an election doesn't go your way. Smilin' Norm's call to withhold funds from the U.N. is not a good idea. We have to commit to the U.N. as an institution to see through effective changes. End runs around the Security Council and persistent calls to withhold dues do not enhance our credibility with the world at large.
Besides, no Republican should object to the 1 nation/1 vote principle. Alaska has as many votes in the Senate as New York. You don't hear Coleman complaining about that (but you do see Republicans defunding New York...)
Smilin' Norm and Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) are calling for reforms on the way in which states regulate incorporation:
"People have to supply more information to get a driver's license than to form a company," Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat, said in a statement.
"The result is that anonymous, non-publicly traded companies are able to engage in illegal activities such as money laundering or other crimes, knowing that U.S. law enforcement has no ready way to identify the company owners," he added.
Makes sense to me.