Jobless rate declines in almost half of states

Jobless rate declines in almost half of states
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Almost half of U.S. states saw their jobless rate decline in July, according to new figures from the federal government. 

Fourteen states had jobless rate increases, on top of the 24 that saw their rate drop. The national unemployment rate for July, 5.3 percent, was the same as in June, and almost a full percentage point lower than in July 2014. The jobless rate topped at out at over 10 percent early in President Obama's tenure.

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Iowa and New Hampshire, two states important to the presidential nominating process and swing states in the general election, came in at 3.8 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.

Ohio, whose governor, John Kasich, is seeking the GOP nod, has a 5 percent unemployment rate — about a half a point lower than a year ago. Gov. Scott Walker's state of Wisconsin has a 4.6 jobless rate, down from 5.4 percent a year ago.

But even with the falling jobless rate, voters continue to question the direction of the country. A quarter of GOP primary voters are currently backing the populist message being pushed by billionaire businessman Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE, raising questions about how the economy will play in the presidential race.

Nebraska currently has the lowest jobless rate in the country, at 2.7 percent. West Virginia's 7.5 percent rate is the highest in the country.