While the unemployment rates in both red and blue areas across the United States are roughly equal, they differ widely on other variables — and those traits factored into how those metro areas voted in the 2016 election, according to news reports Wednesday.
The attributes of higher education, household income, cost of living, non-routine jobs, and projected job growth are greatly interrelated and are associated with voting Democratic, The New York Times reports.
For instance, bluer metros have more residents with college degrees: the 10 largest metros with the highest educational attainment voted for Hillary Clinton by as much as 10 points in 2016.
However, red America did slightly better overall last year, because of job growth in manufacturing and other goods-producing sectors, the Times reports.
But home values are not rising as strongly in red areas, because they have a higher share of prime-age adults who are not in the labor force and, therefore, are not counted in the unemployment rate.
Some metro areas, however, are not as easily defined by their local economics, the Times reports.
For instance, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the Provo-Orem area in Utah, have education levels and a workplace mix that more resembles blue metros but residents voted heavily for Republican Donald Trump in 2016.
In addition, Stockton, California, and El Paso, Texas, mirror red metros economically but voted for Clinton.
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