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.



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.