JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Projected to be 9% for the month of July by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Jacksonville's unemployment rate is the highest it's been since January. Which is why it's no surprise that on this holiday, putting America back to work, is a hot button issue on the campaign trail.
"I think it's extremely important," said local voter Becky Blakely. "I think it's one of the biggest issues on both platforms."
The Republican National Convention has wrapped up. The Democratic National Convention begins tomorrow. And as the campaigns debate whether Americans are better off than they were four years ago, unemployment and how to fix it is always a point of contention.
"Every president since the great depression who asked for a second term could say you were better off today than four years ago, except for Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama," said vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
Vice President Joe Biden countered, saying of Romney, "He says this new territorial tax will create jobs. It will. 800,000 jobs in China, Vietnam, Singapore."
Back here at home, voters say a candidate's ability to create jobs will weigh heavily on their decision come November. And despite the latest unemployment numbers, voters remain optimistic.
"Yeah, it's an issue," said Fatima Sukhara. "But I think if you're capable then you can get a job."
Jacksonville's unemployment rate is just slightly higher than the state rate, which sits at 8.8%.