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Swing States Where Unemployment Is Dropping Rapidly

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With recent data showing that the U.S. only created 80,000 jobs in June, President Obama's reelection campaign may hinge on the economic recoveries of a small number of swing states.

The jobs gains in a handful of swing states has been a bright spot for Obama's campaign. Of the ten states that made the most rapid employment gains over the last year, five are swing states. The recent economic success in states like Florida -- where unemployment has fallen by 2 percent -- may be worrying Republican strategists. Republican lawmakers in successful swing states have reportedly been told to play down their home state's recovery by the national party in an aim to prevent the President from benefiting politically in the November elections.

But swing state job growth may not guarantee Obama's reelection. In New Hampshire, New England's only swing state, the unemployment rate was 5 percent in May. Despite the state's stellar jobs numbers, a recent NBC News/Marist Poll shows that the race in the Granite State is in a statistical dead heat.

Nor do rising employment numbers necessarily indicate 'strong' economic recoveries. Wages have fallen in every one of the ten states posting the most rapid job gains, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The National Employment Law Project estimates that 71 percent of re-employed -- individuals who lost their jobs and subsequently found new work -- received a lower wage than the one they earned at their previous job, with half of this group earning a paycheck 25 percent lower than what they had earned previously.

Below are the ten states where unemployment is falling the most rapidly.

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States Where Unemployment Is Falling Rapidly
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How Unemployment Has Dragged On, In Three Charts

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results