by Tim Mullaney, USA TODAY
Unemployment rates in August rose in 26 states from July, but most states showed lower rates than a year ago, the federal government reported Friday.
Nevada continued to lead the country with the highest unemployment rate, 12.1% in August. North Dakota had the lowest at 3%.
Twelve states and the District of Columbia posted rate decreases last month vs. July. Jobless rates were unchanged in 12 states.
Forty-two states and the District of Columbia had lower unemployment rates in August than a year ago, seven had higher rates and one had no change.
Regionally, unemployment was highest in the West and lowest in the Midwest.
Friday's report will be closely analyzed for its potential impact on the presidential campaign, especially in 12 swing states that are expected to be key battlegrounds.
Some of those states have jobless rates above the national average, which was 8.1% in August. The 12 swing states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
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