(Ryan Avent — The Economist)

At right, you can see the new figures. As was the case in June, the labour-market improvement in swing states is, on this measure at least, a bit better than that for the nation as a whole...Manufacturing states, which suffered very heavily in the downturn but bounced back relatively quickly, feature prominently on the list. And it’s interesting that some of the largest and most electorally important swing states — including Ohio and Florida, have seen large drops in the unemployment rate both overall and in just the past 12 months. That’s important; the political science literature suggests that it is the change in key economic variables in the 9 to 12 months prior to an election that is most impactful.