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The Nation

Jobs Are the Wild Card in Swing States

In latest employment report, the biggest gains -- and losses -- are in the battlegrounds where the presidential election could be determined.

September 18, 2004|Warren Vieth | Times Staff Writer

Among the battleground states, New Hampshire recorded the lowest jobless rate, 3.7%, followed by Nevada at 4%. Oregon posted the highest rate, 7.4%, with Michigan second at 6.7%.

Chief economist Mark Zandi at Economy.com, a data analysis firm in West Chester, Pa., said the figures reflected trends that had been at work for some time: steady job creation in parts of the South and West, and continuing losses in some Midwestern states.

For that reason, Zandi said, the new figures were unlikely to change political sentiment in states such as Florida or Ohio.

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Job swings

Two of the biggest job losers this summer were the presidential election battlegrounds of Ohio and Missouri, according to a Labor Department report. Job gains and losses in presidential swing states:

Job gains and losses in swing states (change from July to August):

*--* Arizona 10,200 Arkansas 2,900 Florida 16,600 Iowa 3,400 Maine 3,500 Michigan 7,200 Minnesota 3,500 Missouri -5,500 Nevada 2,800 New Hampshire -500 New Mexico 2,300 Ohio -11,800 Oregon -900 Pennsylvania 6,400 Washington -3,000 West Virginia 1,100 Wisconsin -1,100

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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