Kyle Wingfield

Political commentary and opinion from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's conservative blogger

Pop quiz: Unemployment rate edition


1. State A has the highest unemployment (UE) rate in the country but had the fourth-fastest job growth last month. State B has the eighth-lowest UE rate in the country but lost jobs last month at a faster clip than any other state.

Which would you rather be?

2. State C has an UE rate that is statistically significantly lower than the national average and has reduced its UE rate more than any other state during the past two months; however, it has added jobs during those months at a rate of only 0.03 percent.

State D has a UE rate that is statistically significantly higher than the national average, and over the past two months it had a larger uptick in its UE rate than all but three other states; however, its job growth rate during the past two months was second-best in the nation at 0.86 percent.

Which would you rather be?

3. All but six states have reduced their UE rates faster than State E over the past year; only three states have been better by that measure than State F. However, employment in State E has grown at a rate that's seven times faster than that of State F.

Which would you rather be?

4. While State G is almost 30 percent bigger than State H, over the past year it has added only about half as many jobs as State H. However, State G does have a UE rate that is more than 2 percentage points lower than that of State H.

Which would you rather be?

***

Did you go with the state with the highest unemployment rate each time? If not, why not? Is it because you want to consider a bigger picture than one data point can paint?

If so, we agree.

***

ANSWER KEY:

State A = Georgia

State B = New Hampshire

State C = Colorado

State D = Georgia

State E = Georgia

State F = Ohio

State G = Pennsylvania

State H = Georgia


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About the Author

Kyle Wingfield joined the AJC in 2009. He is a native of Dalton and a graduate of the University of Georgia.