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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Rust Belt, the upper Midwest manufacturing hub that was the backbone of U.S. production, has seen jobs and wages erode under President Trump, new data shows — and the decline happened before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

What it means: "While job and wage growth continued nationally under Trump, extending trends that took root under President Obama, the country’s economic weight also continued shifting south and west, according to data from the U.S. Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages that was recently updated to include the first three months of 2020," Reuters' Howard Schneider writes.

  • "Across the industrial belt from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, private job growth from the first three months of 2017 through the first three months of 2020 lagged the rest of the country — with employment in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio growing 2% or less over that time compared to a 4.5% national average, according to QCEW data analyzed by Reuters."
  • "Texas and California saw job growth of more than 6% from 2017 through the start of 2020, by contrast, while Idaho led the nation with employment growing more than 10%."

A separate study by the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) analyzing economic well-being in five Midwestern swing states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio) found...

  • Among the counties that flipped from voting for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 to voting for Donald Trump in 2016, 61% are in relative economic decline.
  • Nearly all the rest are continuing economic gains that have been in place since 2000.

While the five states "are geographically close and culturally similar, they diverge sharply when it comes to economic well-being, with Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa being more affluent than Michigan and Ohio," EIG notes.

  • In four of the five states, counties that flipped were more likely to experience job growth than the typical county nationally from 2014 to 2018, but that trend reversed in 2018.
  • From the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2020, far fewer flipped counties added jobs than did so nationally across all the region’s swing states except Minnesota.
  • In Iowa, four out of five lost jobs, compared to under half nationally.

Go deeper

Data: Black voters propelled Democrats' Georgia victory

Data: Georgia Secretary of State; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden owes his upcoming Senate majority to game-changing turnout Tuesday by African American voters across Georgia, according to Axios’ analysis of state election data.

The big picture: Turnout in runoff elections usually pales in comparison to general elections. This time, in every Georgia county, the number of votes cast Tuesday was at least 80% of the turnout in November. In Randolph County, which is 62% Black, turnout was 96%.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

German election: Exit polls show close race to succeed Angela Merkel

SPD leader Olaf Scholz. Photo: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BERLIN — Exit polls from Sunday's German elections showed the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) slightly ahead of the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) in a tight election race to succeed Angela Merkel.

State of play: Official results were still rolling in, but a partial count showed the SPD ahead with 26% of the vote and the CDU on just over 24%.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Liz Cheney: Americans deserve better than choice of Biden or Trump

Rep. Liz Cheney talks with Lesley Stahl on CBS' "60 Minutes." Photo: CBS News

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) told CBS' "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that Americans "deserve better than having to choose between" President Biden's "disastrous" policies and former President Trump, "who violated his oath of office."

Why it matters: Cheney made the remarks after CBS' Lesley Stahl put it to her in the interview that Republicans feel that her joining the House select committee in charge of investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot helps "keep the focus on Trump instead of on the shortcomings of the Biden administration."