The Baltimore Ravens Will Win Super Bowl XLVII Based on a Surprising Predictor That Gets the Job Done

January 22, 2013

The Baltimore Ravens will win Super Bowl XLVII, according to an unorthodox but surprisingly accurate predictor of Super Bowl success. RiseSmart, the leader in next-generation outplacement solutions, has performed an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data showing the team whose metropolitan area boasts the lower jobless rate has won 20 of the past 25 Super Bowls – a remarkable 80 percent success rate. Based on this correlation, the Ravens will claim the NFL championship over the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 3.


The unemployment-rate predictor has been correct in four out of every five Super Bowls since 1988, when the Washington Redskins defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII. The correlation is based on the jobless rates in the competing cities in the calendar year preceding the big game. Through November, the 2012 unemployment rate for the Baltimore metropolitan area was 7.2 percent, compared to 8.2 percent for the San Francisco metropolitan area.

"The Super Bowl always generates a great deal of discussion among commentators and fans, and this correlation to the economies of the competing cities is sure to spark spirited debate as well," said Sanjay Sathe, founder and CEO of RiseSmart. "One could hypothesize that a fan base with higher employment is more likely to attend games, buy team merchandise, and cheer on their team at sports bars and restaurants. By contrast, a metro area struggling with high jobless rates might subtly but negatively impact its team's success."

Other facts of note:

  • Super Bowl XLVII is the fourth consecutive Super Bowl in which both teams hail from a metropolitan area with an unemployment rate over 6 percent. Before 2010, the last time the two Super Bowl teams both came from cities with jobless rates exceeding 6 percent was 1994, when Dallas defeated Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVIII.
  • The New York Giants' upset victory over New England in Super Bowl XLVI represents one of the five times in 25 years when the unemployment predictor failed to predict the outcome of the game. Two of the other five times were also upset wins by the Giants – over favored Buffalo in 1991 and undefeated New England in 2008.

"Never underestimate the power of having a job," Sathe said. "It impacts workers, their families, their cities, and – just maybe – their football teams."

Super Bowl Winner Jobless Rate (%) Loser Jobless Rate (%)
1988 Washington 3.2 Denver 7.2
1989 San Francisco 3.6 Cincinnati 5.1
1990 San Francisco 3.3 Denver 5.4
1991 N.Y. Giants 5.5 Buffalo 5.3
1992 Washington 4.6 Buffalo 7.2
1993 Dallas 6.9 Buffalo 7.5
1994 Dallas 6.1 Buffalo 6.8
1995 San Francisco 5.9 San Diego 7.1
1996 Dallas 4.8 Pittsburgh 6
1997 Green Bay 3.4 New England 4.1
1998 Denver 2.9 Green Bay 3.3
1999 Denver 2.9 Atlanta 3.3
2000 St. Louis 3.5 Tennessee 2.9
2001 Baltimore 3.8 NY Giants 4.4
2002 New England 3.6 St. Louis 4.6
2003 Tampa Bay 5.6 Oakland 6.2
2004 New England 5.7 Carolina 6.3
2005 New England 5 Philadelphia 5.1
2006 Pittsburgh 5.2 Seattle 5
2007 Indianapolis 4.4 Chicago 4.5
2008 NY Giants 4.4 New England 4.1
2009 Pittsburgh 5.1 Arizona 5.3
2010 New Orleans 6.5 Indianapolis 8.7
2011 Green Bay 7.7 Pittsburgh 8
2012 N.Y. Giants 8.5 New England 6.6

Note: Jobless rates are for year prior to Super Bowl year. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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About RiseSmart

RiseSmart is the leading provider of next-generation outplacement solutions. The company leverages a cloud-based technology platform, proven methodologies and one-on-one support to help employers with their workforce strategy, and displaced employees with their career strategy. RiseSmart drives significant ROI to organizations by offering affordable pricing while reducing unemployment insurance taxes and severance costs. RiseSmart has received a wide range of awards and recognition from organizations including Bersin by Deloitte, the Best in Biz, Gartner Inc., the Golden Bridge Awards, LAROCQUE, the Momentum Index, Red Herring, the San Francisco Business Times, SiliconIndia, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, the Stevie Awards and TIE.

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for RiseSmart:
Woody Mosqueda, 408-993-9113

The Baltimore Ravens Will Win Super Bowl XLVII Based on a Surprising Predictor That Gets the Job Done