The jobless rate rose in August in five of 10 states considered battlegrounds in the U.S. presidential election less than two months before voters head to the polls.
Unemployment climbed in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, North Carolina and Nevada, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. The rate dropped in Colorado and New Mexico, and was unchanged from July in Ohio, Florida and Virginia.
Unemployment in six of the 10 states surveyed is below the national average, something that might be helping Obama. In Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa unemployment is still below the national average of 8.1 percent; in North Carolina and Nevada it's still higher. Last month joblessness rose in every battleground save Ohio.