The campaign of mayoral candidate Mark Andrew sent out 3,500 mailers this week touting a troubling statistic: that Minneapolis has lost 27,000 jobs in the last decade.
“I’ll use my private and public sector experience to get those jobs back,” says the ad. “We need pro-growth innovations to compete in a global economy.”
That number, based on outdated data, is misleading.
Andrew pulled the figure from a 2011 Met Council report that detailed job losses between 2000 and 2010.
But employment has rebounded in recent years. Minneapolis lost only 8,393 jobs in the 10 years leading up to the third quarter of 2012, the most recent period available, according to the state’s economic development department.
By the time the campaign learned about the fresher data, it was too late to stop the ad from hitting thousands of mailboxes.
Campaign manager Joe Ellickson said they tried to pull the mailers Wednesday morning “due to the outdated number, but it was already in the mail chute.”
He stressed that the campaign wants to be “100 percent upfront and forthcoming.”
“Going forward we’re going to be more clear,” said Ellickson. “If we’re going to say, ‘We lost this many jobs in the last decade,’ we’re going to be more specific and talk about that 8,000 number.”
The most recent numbers were posted the week of March 18 on the web site of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, according to a spokeswoman.
Andrew has cited similarly high numbers elsewhere.
He said Minneapolis had 27,600 fewer jobs than it did in 2001 at the April 3 candidates’ forum at Solomon’s Porch, though the number of jobs lost between the third quarter of that year and the third quarter of 2012 was only 5,679.
Andrew also said in a March 25 Q & A with MinnPost that the city lost 28,000 jobs since 2001.
“Mark should have been more clear that in the last decade we lost 27,000 jobs… but since then we’ve seen a significant uptick,” said Ellickson.
He added: “Jobs are obviously the focus of what our campaign and Mark is talking about. And whether it’s 6,000 jobs or 8,000 jobs or whether it was the 27,000 jobs that we lost in the previous decade, 2000 to 2010, we need to continue to talk about providing solutions.”