Here's where the unemployment rate stands in the states that will decide Trump's 2020 fate

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump will rely in large part on a strong economy if he is going to win reelection in 2020.
  • While the U.S. unemployment rate is near a 50-year low, the swing states that will determine the election have not benefited equally from a strong economy.
US President Donald Trump speaks on the United StatesMexicoCanada Agreement (USMCA) trade agreement at Derco Aerospace Inc. plant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 12, 2019.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

In a 2020 election where a handful of swing states will decide whether President Donald Trump gets another term in the White House, the president may need a strong economy to nudge him over the line.

Trump has already used it to make his case for reelection. During early campaign stops, the president has repeatedly pointed to an unemployment rate near its lowest level in 50 years, among other economic indicators that he says show his administration's success.

Economic health varies more at the state level. The latest government data released Tuesday show not all 2020 battleground states have enjoyed the same gains.

CNBC looked at 13 states that are usually considered swing states or have grown more competitive in recent elections. In October, eight had unemployment rates lower than the national mark of 3.6%, while five stood higher.

At the same time, six of the states had unemployment rates that rose from the previous year. The metric fell in six other states, while it was unchanged in Pennsylvania.

Arizona had the highest unemployment rate of the 13 states at 4.8%, followed by Pennsylvania and Ohio at 4.2%. Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado and Virginia held the lowest marks at 2.6%.

Minnesota saw the biggest increase in the unemployment rate among those states, while Colorado enjoyed the largest decrease.

Three states that narrowly backed Trump in 2016 — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — delivered enough electoral votes to put the president in the White House. Along with those states Democrat Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, Democrats hope to flip previously pro-Trump Florida and Arizona, among others.

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How the U.S. monthly unemployment rate is measured
How the unemployment rate is calculated