With the presidential election quickly approaching, the economy and labor market are typically two of the bigger issues voters weigh when heading into the voting booth. And, over the past year, unemployment has fallen in nine of the 12 most competitive states in this year’s election, reports Wall Street Journal staffer Josh Mitchell.

According to a release from the Labor Department last week, the jobless rates in most of those “battleground states” has dropped, which could be a big factor in the election’s outcome.

North Carolina’s unemployment figure dropped the most among swing states, falling a full percentage point to 4.7% in September.

Unemployment fell by eight-tenths of a point to 5.8% in both Nevada and West Virginia. It fell half a point in Georgia (5.1% in September), Michigan (4.6%) and Wisconsin(4.1%). It dropped fourth-tenths in Arizona (5.5%), Florida (4.7%) and New Hampshire(2.9%).

Meanwhile, the jobless rate rose eight-tenths of a point in Pennsylvania (5.7%), sixth-tenths in Iowa (4.2%) and two-tenths in Ohio (4.8%).

Nationally, the rate fell to 5% last month from 5.1% a year earlier.

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