Close to 90 percent of states saw their unemployment rates rise in July, a potentially worrisome development for President Obama’s reelection campaign.RELATED: 'We Did Build It': Small Business Owner Taunts Obama Motorcade
The Labor Department reported Friday that 44 states in all saw their jobless rate go up, with four states seeing no change at all. Only Idaho and Rhode Island — along with Washington, D.C. — saw their rates drop last month.
The economy added 163,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department said earlier this month, a figure that beat expectations and outpaced the sluggish job growth of the previous three months.
But Republicans also latched on to the fact that the national unemployment rate ticked back up, from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent.
The strength of the job market and the economy at large is still expected to play a key role in November’s match-up between Obama and the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.
At the same time, Romney’s recent choice of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the House GOP’s budget guru, as his running mate also appears to have brought issues like Medicare and budget deficits more to the forefront of the campaign.
Even though the unemployment rate remains north of 8 percent, some analysts expected Obama to get a boost because many of the swing states that both campaigns are targeting have jobless rates below the national average.
But among the dozen or so states that both parties are contesting, only Ohio — which saw its rate stay at 7.2 percent — did not see an increase in July.