About 10 battleground states will decide the election. Seven of them have employment levels that beat the national average.
That doesn't guarantee an Obama win of course. But it's a reminder that the national unemployment rate is not necessarily the all-important political statistic.
Most of these battleground states are led by Republican governors eager to highlight their progress in creating jobs.
That complicates presidential candidate Mitt Romney's claim that the economy has been so mismanaged that Obama deserves to be ousted. Also, robust drilling for natural gas is creating jobs in the key states of Ohio and Pennsylvania