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Reuters: Unemployment Rates Rise in U.S. Election Swing States
Unemployment rates rose in July from June in almost all states, including those where the presidential election fight is expected to be fiercest, according to data released on Friday by the Labor Department.
Altogether, jobless rates rose in 44 states. Rates dropped in Idaho, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia, and were unchanged in four states.
As the country moves closer to November's election day, voters' attention is squarely focused on the economy and a national jobless rate hovering above 8 percent.
Because of the unique U.S. political system in which states cast electoral votes for president, the contest between President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney is heating up in seven states where polling suggests voters are undecided.
In those states - Nevada, Florida, Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia and Iowa - jobless rates all rose or were flat in July. Nevada again had the highest rate in the nation at 12 percent, while Florida's 8.8 percent and Colorado's 8.3 percent were both at or above the July national rate of 8.3 percent.
In addition to being a perennial battleground state, Florida this year is home to the Republican convention where Romney will officially become the party's candidate.
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