The Obama campaign likes to tout how a number of the Battleground states have seen improved employment results versus the national average while claiming credit for these improvements. Little mention is given to the fact regardless whether Ohio’s unemployment is above or below the national average, 7+ percent unemployment is still awful. Unfortunately now for the Obama administration, slicing unemployment data so finely to distract from the horrible national unemployment situation isn’t playing out the way they had hoped:
Unemployment rose in June in six of 10 battleground states that could play a pivotal role in the presidential election, reflecting job cuts in some cases and weak payroll growth in others. The jobless rate climbed a 10th of a percentage point last month in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire and Virginia, the Labor Department said in a report released Friday. The rate held steady in three other battleground states—Nevada, Florida, and North Carolina. Ohio was the only battleground state where unemployment fell last month.
Nevada‘s 11.6% jobless rate remained the highest of any state in the nation. The rates in North Carolina, at 9.4%, Michigan, at 8.6%, and Florida, also at 8.6%, remained stuck above the national average of 8.2%.
Joblessness was far below the national rate in three of the battleground states—Virginia, with 5.7%; Iowa with 5.2%; and New Hampshire, with 5.1%. Employers cut jobs in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan and Nevada. Three of the battleground states—Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina—posted significant job gains.
The jobless rate is politically significant because voters look to it for a quick read on the economy—which is a central focus in the election, particularly in these states that are expected to be the closest in the race. The data confirm job growth has sputtered in these states since the winter’s brisk pace of job growth.