Unemployment rate inches up in presidential swing states

Two states that the president wrested from the Republican column in 2008 — Virginia and North Carolina, the site of the 2012 Democratic convention — also saw slight increases: The Tar Heel State’s rate went from 10.1 percent to 10.4, while Virginia’s increased from 6.1 percent to 6.3.

The state-by-state statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics come as Republicans and Democrats continue to battle over how to spark job creation.

Obama visited several swing states in recent days to urge Congress to pass his $447 billion jobs package. But House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) slammed the president’s plan on Thursday, calling it a “poor substitute” for the long-term policies the economy needs.

ADVERTISEMENT
Over the past year, the unemployment rate has dipped down significantly in some swing states.

Nevada, at 13.4 percent, continues to have the highest jobless rate in the nation, but that figure has also fallen 1.5 percentage points in the last year. The jobless rates in New Mexico (8.5 percent to 6.6 percent), Michigan (12.2 percent to 11.2 percent), Ohio (9.9 percent to 9.1 percent) and Florida (11.6 percent to 10.7 percent) also dropped.

In all, unemployment remains highest in the West (10.6 percent), and lowest in the Northeast (8.2 percent).