Job growth in 2020 battleground states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania is slowing as the manufacturing sector contracts there and the Trump administration's trade war with China creates uncertainty despite last week's "phase one" deal.
Unemployment is around 4 percent in much of the Midwest, but job growth from October to December has slowed in places like Michigan and Minnesota, The New York Times reported.
Growth has reached negative numbers in Alaska, while Connecticut is dead even.
Factory employment is down in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and other states, according to data recorded through October, The Times reported. Disappointing numbers in the Midwest are masked by stats like last month's unexpectedly high job growth. The U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs and unemployment returned to a half-century low in November.
Pennsylvania hit record-low unemployment numbers this past spring and has a rising per capita income that is nearly $6,000 dollars higher since Donald Trump became president. But some of the state's top industries are feeling the brunt of tariffs.
Pennsylvania is home to the most food processing plants in the country – and is the top producer of canned fruits and vegetables, potato chips and chocolate. Many of those plants use aluminum to package their products in cans or foil wrappers – leaving costs to process food products exposed to recent tariffs against imported metals like steel and aluminum. The state was one of the top-four biggest importers of tariffed metals from January to June this year – importing more than $1.1 billion worth of the metals.
Some of the states seeing slowing job growth could be an exception, not the rule. For instance, Michigan's job loss statistics should balance out once the General Motors strike, which temporarily took 17,000 workers off payrolls, is further in the past.
Individual counties in these Midwestern states could be key in 2020. Racine County, Wisconsin; Macomb County, Michigan, and Erie County, Ohio, switched from blue in 2012 to red in 2016 but have seen minimal job growth in the last 12 months ending in June, The Times reported.
FOX Business' Hillary Vaughn contributed to this article.