Underdogs Denver Broncos Will Win Super Bowl 50 Based on Surprising Correlation to Unemployment Rate

February 1, 2016

The Denver Broncos will win Super Bowl 50, according to an unconventional, yet surprisingly accurate, predictor of Super Bowl success. RiseSmart, a Randstad company and the leading provider of contemporary career transition solutions, found that the team whose metropolitan area boasts the lower unemployment rate has won 26 of the past 35 Super Bowls – a notable 74-percent success rate. Based on this correlation, RiseSmart forecasts the Denver Broncos will claim the upcoming NFL championship over the Carolina Panthers this Sunday, Feb. 7.

RiseSmart's Super Bowl Predictor, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, analyzes the jobless rates in the competing cities in the calendar year preceding the game. Through November 2015, the average unemployment rate for the Denver metropolitan area was 3.9 percent. Despite the Panthers' superior record, Charlotte's unemployment rate of 5.4 percent indicates that Vegas' pick for the win will not prevail on Super Bowl Sunday.

RiseSmart's level of accuracy can be validated when put head-to-head with Vegas oddsmakers. Vegas experts have accurately predicted the straight-up winner of the Super Bowl in 21 of the past 35 years, a 60-percent success rate compared to the 74-percent success rate that RiseSmart's Super Bowl Predictor has maintained.

Though RiseSmart's Predictor has been correct in three out of every four Super Bowls, when certain teams are involved the success rate is even higher. The Denver Broncos have appeared in a Super Bowl six times since 1981. Of those six games, the unemployment-rate has accurately predicted the winner five times, giving it an 83-percent success rate.

"The Super Bowl always generates a great deal of discussion among commentators and fans, and the correlation we uncovered between the competing cities' economies and game day performance is sure to spark spirited debate as well," said Sanjay Sathé, founder and CEO of RiseSmart.

Sathé continued, "One could hypothesize that a fan base in a city 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 unemployment rates might subtly, but negatively, impact its team's success. RiseSmart's analysis has proven to be highly accurate but, as always, we are not blind to the fact that there are exceptions to every rule."

Other facts of note:

  • As of November 2015, the Denver metropolitan area experienced its lowest unemployment rate in over 15 years.
  • The last time the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl was 17 years ago against the Atlanta Falcons, when they held a record low 2.9 percent jobless rate. A mere coincidence? We think not.

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

RiseSmart's Super Bowl Predictor infographic shows the Big Game teams and correlating jobless rates for the past 35 years.

Super Bowl

Winner

Jobless Rate (%)

Loser

Jobless Rate (%)

1981

Oakland

5.6

Philadelphia

6.8

1982

San Francisco

6.1

Cincinnati

8.7

1983

Washington

5.8

Miami

10.1

1984

L.A. Raiders

9.7

Washington

5.2

1985

San Francisco

5.3

Miami

7.8

1986

Chicago

8.3

New England

3.4

1987

N.Y. Giants

5.5

Denver

6.6

1988

Washington

3.2

Denver

7.2

1989

San Francisco

3.6

Cincinnati

5.1

1990

San Francisco

3.3

Denver

5.4

1991

New York

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

New York

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

5.0

Philadelphia

5.1

2006

Pittsburgh

5.2

Seattle

5.0

2007

Indianapolis

4.4

Chicago

4.5

2008

New York

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

New York

8.5

New England

6.6

2013

Baltimore

7.2

San Francisco

8.1

2014

Seattle

5.9

Denver

6.7

2015

New England

5.4

Seattle

5.3

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

About RiseSmart:

RiseSmart, a Randstad company, is the leading provider of contemporary career transition services that strengthen employer brands, improve retention and re-engage talent. RiseSmart's contemporary approach to outplacement combines personalized services from trained professionals with unmatched technology delivered through a convenient, cloud-based platform. High-performing organizations in more than 40 industries rely on RiseSmart's outplacement solution to help former employees find new jobs faster. Landing rates exceeding 80 percent and time-to-placement averages more than 60 percent faster than national averages have helped make RiseSmart the nation's fastest-growing outplacement firm. RiseSmart's innovative approach to human capital management has earned the company a wide range of awards and recognition from organizations including Bersin by Deloitte, the Best in Biz, Gartner Inc., the Golden Bridge Awards, GreatRated!, LAROCQUE, the Momentum Index, Red Herring, the San Francisco Business Times, SiliconIndia, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, the Stevie Awards and TIE. Additionally, RiseSmart's outplacement solution has earned the exclusive endorsement of the American Hospital Association. For more information, visit www.risesmart.com.