Bemidji, Minnesota, is the proud home of a statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe, his Blue Ox; endorsed Republican United States Senate candidate Mike McFadden seems to be drawing inspiration from that tale with a whopper of his own.
In More McFadden views: From Minnesota’s ‘immoral’ test-scores gap to an economic ‘game-changer’, McFadden told MinnPost political columnist Eric Black (emphasis in original):
Shortly before our interview, it came out that the June unemployment rate for Minnesota was 4.5 percent, the lowest since February of 2007. I asked McFadden whether he was aware of the state’s unemployment rate? Replied McFadden:
Do you know what the unemployment rate is in the Iron Range, Eric? It just came out, too. It’s close to 10 percent. Do you know what it is in Bemidji? It’s close to 11 percent.
Bluestem had been looking at county level unemployment data recently and thought the figure for Bemidji might be a bit high. According to data online at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Beltrami County's unemployment rate was 6 percent in June 2014.
But we can drill down even deeper into the data by visiting the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Viewer, which reports that the unemployment rate for the Bemidji, MN Micropolitan Statistical Area (U) was 5.6 percent in May 2014, the latest figures available.
That's nearly half the rate that McFadden shared, but William B. Laughead might be proud.
An investment banker on leave of absence from Lazard Middle Market, McFadden is predicted to win the Republican primary and face Senator Al Franken in November's general election.
Photo: Bemidji's Paul Bunyan and Babe statues, via Wikipedia.
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