Associated Press (08/17/12)
With only 150,000 new jobs added per month on average, the national unemployment rate bumped up to 8.3% in July from 8.2% in June. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 44 states saw increases in their unemployment rates in July, marking the largest number of states in more than three years to post a monthly jump in jobless rates. These states include nine that are considered battleground states in the upcoming presidential election, such as Nevada, where the unemployment rate climbed from 11.6% in June to 12% in July but remains under the 13.8% rate it hit a year ago, and Florida, where the rate edged up from 8.6% in June to 8.8% in July. However, unemployment rates in some battleground states could fall in the near future due to significant increases in new jobs, with Michigan and Virginia adding 21,800 and 21,300 new jobs, respectively.