As the presidential candidates focus their energies on a handful of swing states up for grabs, they'll be hammering away on the key issues of the 2016 campaign: jobs and wages.
The government reported Friday that nonfarm payroll employment rose by 255,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent.
Wages also edged higher. Last month, average hourly earnings rose by 8 cents to $25.69, extending recent increases. Hourly wages are now 2.6 percent higher than a year ago. That's more than double the inflation rate for the same period.
The continued improvement in jobs and wages means Democrat Hillary Clinton may fare better in states where job and wage growth has been stronger than the national averages. GOP nominee Donald Trump will likely get better traction on pocketbook issues in states where employment and paychecks have been growing more slowly. To better assess the impact of swing state economics, CNBC took a look at the data to see which way voters in those states may be leaning.
Based on voter registrations and past voting patterns, these eight states are considered toss-ups: Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. (Three states, Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin are seen as leaning toward Clinton; four others, Arizona, Georgia, Missouri and Utah are thought to be leaning toward Trump. The rest are either solidly Republican or Democratic).
Some of the swing states will be more important than others. Just four battleground states — Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia — come with a combined 66 electoral votes, or 24 percent of the 270 needed to win the election.