2.4%: Iowa and NH—First Caucus and Primary States—Tie for Lowest Unemployment Rate

By Terence P. Jeffrey | March 11, 2019 | 3:57pm EDT
The Iowa State Fair Parade begins in front of the Iowa state capitol, Aug. 11, 2011. (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)

(CNSNews.com) - Iowa and New Hampshire, which are respectively scheduled to hold the first-in-the nation presidential caucuses and first-in-the-nation presidential primary in 2020, tied at 2.4 percent for the nation’s lowest unemployment rate among the 50 states in January, according to data released Monday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The national unemployment rate in January was 4.0 percent, according to BLS. (It subsequently dropped to 3.8 percent in February, as the BLS reported on Friday.)

“Iowa and New Hampshire had the lowest unemployment rates in January, 2.4 percent each,” said the BLS’s State Employment and Unemployment Summary published today.

“The rate in Vermont (2.5 percent) set a new series low,” said BLS in reporting the record low unemployment rate in the home state of Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders. (BLS has been reporting state-by-state unemployment rates since 1976.)

“Alaska had the highest jobless rate, 6.5 percent,” said BLS. “In total, 19 states had unemployment rates lower than the U.S. figure of 4.0 percent, 8 states and the District of Columbia had higher rates, and 23 states had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.”

In the second half of the 20th Century, Iowa and New Hampshire established their respective positions as the nation’s first presidential caucus state and first presidential primary state. In the 2020 primary season, the Iowa Caucuses are currently scheduled for Feb. 3, 2020 and the New Hampshire primary is scheduled for Feb. 11, 2020.

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