Low unemployment figures in three key election swing states reportedly could possibly hurt Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s chances of winning the White House.
Jobless rates in Colorado, Virginia and Florida are well below the national average, “possibly blunting Trump's message of economic pain,” The Wall Street Journal
In Colorado and Virginia, the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in June, well below the national average of 4.9 percent, the Labor Department
said Friday. Florida reported 4.7 percent, down from 5.3 percent a year ago.
New Hampshire, which WSJ.com described as “another state that can go either way in presidential election years,” posted the second-lowest rate in the country last month, at 2.8 percent.
Trump’s message of economic pain “may be better received in formerly industrial states like Pennsylvania, where unemployment climbed to 5.6 percent in June, up from 5.1 percent in June 2015. He may also find more takers in states feeling the brunt of low energy prices, like Wyoming, where the unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent in June from 4.2 percent in June 2015,” WSJ.com reported.
In the rest of the country, unemployment rates were "significantly higher" last month in six states, lower in one state, and stable in 43 states and the District of Columbia, CNS News
Six states with "statistically significant" unemployment rate increases were: Colorado (up 0.4 percentage point); Nevada and Oregon ( up 0.3 point each); and California, Maine, and South Dakota (up 0.2 point each), CNS cited the BLS as reporting.
BLS said the only "notable" unemployment rate drop was in North Carolina (down 0.2 percentage point).
The remaining 43 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates that weren't much different from a month ago.
Meanwhile, applications for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, hitting a three-month low, indicating the labor market remains steady.
Initial jobless claims dropped by 1,000 to 253,000 in the week ended July 16, from an unrevised 254,000 in the prior period, a report from the Labor Department said.
Employers continue to retain staff amid improving U.S. growth and a shortage of skilled workers that they’re looking to hire. Sustained low levels of firings also signal a strong outlook for the job market that will help lift household spending, the biggest part of the economy.
“Demand for labor is high,” Jacob Oubina, senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York, told Bloomberg.
“We’re not likely to see a material increase in the trend for layoffs.”
For 72 consecutive weeks, claims have been below the 300,000 level that economists say is typically consistent with an improving job market. That’s the longest stretch since 1973.
Reviving the U.S. jobs market has been a pivotal theme in the election.
Trump has said Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's position on immigration will take jobs away from Americans and hurt wages.
“I have a different vision for our workers. It begins with a new, fair trade policy that protects our jobs and stands up to countries that cheat,” Trump said
at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. “It’s been a signature message of my campaign from day one, and it will be a signature feature of my presidency from the moment I take the oath of office.”
(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).
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