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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

Nov 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin recount reaffirms Biden's victory in the state

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The two recounts in Wisconsin requested by the Trump campaign were completed Sunday and confirmed that President-elect Joe Biden won the state, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: Biden won Wisconsin by more than 20,000 votes. Recounts in the state's most populous and liberal areas — Dane and Milwaukee counties — netted him an additional 87 votes.

What COVID-19 vaccine trials still need to do

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 vaccines are being developed at record speed, but some experts fear the accelerated regulatory process could interfere with ongoing research about the vaccines.

Why it matters: Even after the first COVID-19 vaccines are deployed, scientific questions will remain about how they are working and how to improve them.

1 hour ago - Podcasts

Faces of COVID creator on telling the stories of those we've lost

America yesterday lost 2,762 people to COVID-19, per the CDC, bringing the total pandemic toll to 272,525. That's more than the population of Des Moines, Iowa. Or Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Or Toledo, Ohio.

Axios Re:Cap speaks with Alex Goldstein, creator of the @FacesofCOVID Twitter account, about sharing the stories behind the statistics.