"Are you better off now than you were when Obama took office?" This has been Mitt Romney's campaign trail refrain, and so October's jobs numbers were greeted heartily by team Obama. Unemployment is now at 7.9 percent -- around the same rate as January 2009 -- which means that for the average American, the jobs situation may not be better, but it isn't worse, either.
The job situation of the average American doesn't matter this election, though. What matters is the job situations of average Americans living the country's 13 swing states. Many pundits say these will be the ones deciding the next president, and if jobs are one of the greatest forces behind their choice (Obama has a seven-point lead among the employed, while Romney has a six-point lead among the jobless, according to a recent survey from Beyond.com), it makes sense to take a closer look at the jobs numbers in those embattled patches of our land (the latest state unemployment numbers are still from September).
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