The Daily Yonder's coverage of rural economic issues, including workforce development and the future of work in rural America, is supported in part by Microsoft.
Job growth in the first four Democratic primary states was far stronger than the national average over the last year, according to the latest federal reports.
Moreover, unemployment rates in these states were also at or well below that of the nation as a whole. And the good employment reports came from both urban and rural counties.
Democratic candidates have uniformly criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the economy. That message is being delivered in states that have had good job growth, and low unemployment rates, in the last year.
The first four Democratic primaries will be in Iowa (caucuses Feb. 3), New Hampshire (Feb. 11), Nevada (caucuses Feb. 22) and South Carolina (Feb. 29). The chart above shows the job growth in those states from July 2018 to July 2019. The figures are broken down between rural and urban counties.
The job growth rate in urban Iowa is more than three times that of the U.S. total. In rural Iowa, jobs have been growing at a little less than twice the national average. Des Moines has had the sixth fastest rate of job growth since last July of all U.S. metro counties at 5.3 percent.
The same is true across the first four Democratic primary states. Not one state has job growth rates lower than the national average. The closest is New Hampshire, which clocks in with job growth at just a bit above the national figures. Every other state has job growth rates at two to three times the national figures, in both rural and urban counties.
The only state of these four with a higher unemployment rate than the national average in July of this year is Nevada. It had a statewide unemployment rate of 4.5 percent compared to the national rate of 4 percent, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Iowa had an unemployment rate of 2.7 percent in July. South Carolina’s rate was 3.2 percent, and New Hampshire’s rate was 2.2 percent.
What does this do to the rhetoric coming from Democratic candidates – or its reception by voters? The Yonder has no idea.