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Unemployment Numbers Could Affect Voters In Colorado

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – New numbers out show Colorado’s unemployment rate ticked down last month. New job growth came in the education and health care fields.

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 8 percent in September. That’s down from 8.2 percent in August. The state added 7,000 jobs.

Colorado isn’t the only swing state seeing slow job growth. The unemployment rate dropped in 41 states last month, including seven swing states in the presidential election — Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.

With 18 days to the election, the improving economic outlook could help President Barack Obama re-election outlook.

Outside the Colorado Department of Labor the drop in the jobless rate was met with skepticism by Rene Garcia, who is unemployed and undecided in the election.

“I don’t feel like either candidate is really looking at the true ‘stand in line and wait,’ ” Garcia said.

She voted for Obama in 2008.

“I was living the American dream four years ago and voted, lets go, and here I am unemployed and trying very hard to be employed,” Garcia said.

Colorado still hasn’t recovered all the jobs lost in the recession. The state gained back about 60 percent. The state’s unemployment rate is still higher than the nation’s, so it’s unclear if the change in unemployment changes anything in November.

“In a race this close, everything can matter,” political analyst Eric Sondermann said. “That said, I’m not convinced it matters that much.”

Sondermann says voters tend to be moved by emotion more than numbers. Take the jobseekers at AndrewHudsonJobsList.com.

“They look at things like, ‘Is the president going to be supporting additional training dollars that is going to help me become more employable?’ ” Hudson said. “‘Is the president going support programs that help entrepreneurs?’ “

Melissa Jones lost her job to downsizing, but her sense is the economy is improving under the president.

“The way things were going it was tough for him at the beginning,” Jones said. “It seems it’s getting better and I think that he’s on track to continue doing better.”

“I’m on the fence. I’m going to listen to next debate make some decisions based on that,” Garcia said.

The debate happens Monday night — the same day early voting begins. The Secretary of State’s office said on Friday that 25,000 Coloradans have already voted by mail.

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