Unemployment rates rise in some U.S. election swing states

Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:57am EDT

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NEW YORK, Sept 21 (Reuters) - The unemployment rate rose
last month in some states considered key to the U.S.
presidential election, including Iowa and Nevada, data from the
Labor Department showed on Friday.
    Overall, the change in state unemployment rates across the
country was a mixed bag. Jobless rates rose in 26 states in
August from July, fell in 12 states and the District of
Columbia, and was unchanged in another 12 states.
    Compared to last year, jobless rates fell in 42 states, rose
in seven and remained the same in one.
    Because of the unique U.S. political system where states
cast electoral votes for president, the contest between
President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney is
heating up in some states where polling suggests voters are
undecided.
    The slow pace of economic growth and high level of
unemployment has been a focal point of the campaigns ahead of
the election in November. Of the eight states where the polls
are currently tight, half had unemployment rates above the
national average of 8.1 percent.
    Nevada, considered to be one of the battlegrounds of the
election, had the highest unemployment rate in the country at
12.1 percent, up from 12 percent in July. 
    The level of unemployment rose in other such swing states,
with North Carolina climbing to 9.7 percent, and New Hampshire
up at 5.7 percent.
    Florida, Ohio and Virginia all held steady, while Colorado
eased to 8.2 percent from 8.3 percent.
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