Georgia has the nation’s worst unemployment rate (again!)

Carter says that matters, Deal says that’s irrelevant. Who’s right?

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The state of Georgia’s economy — and how we measure what shape it’s in — has sparked plenty of debate throughout the gubernatorial race’s final months. That continues today as the Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its latest state unemployment rates. Who was dead last for the second month in a row? Yep, you guessed it, Georgia!

Georgia’s unemployment rate continues to hover around 8 percent. So expect Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter to keep attacking Gov. Nathan Deal’s economic policies that he says have “driven Georgia to the very bottom.”

However, Deal has repeatedly brushed aside the BLS figures during campaign stops and debates as “outliers.” He’s instead pointed to more than 80,000 jobs created throughout the state. That’s good enough, he said during the Atlanta Press Club debate, for Georgia to have the sixth-best job growth rate in the country.

“Unemployment rates are only good for political advertising,” Deal said at the APC debate, jabbing at Carter. “Economists don’t pay any attention to them.” Carter’s campaign has subsequently tried to use Deal’s words against him:

If @NathanDeal can’t see that thousands of Georgians out of work is a problem, why should we trust him to fix it? https://t.co/fiLlpjQmRV
— Jason Carter (@carter4governor) October 21, 2014

The battle over economic indicators will likely continue to be waged up through Nov. 4. Whoever wins that key argument may very well be Georgia’s next governor. For now, though, check out the Sept. 2014 unemployment figures after the jump:

? ? ?
1. NORTH DAKOTA, 2.8 percent
2. SOUTH DAKOTA, 3.4 percent
3. UTAH, 3.5 percent
4. NEBRASKA, 3.6 percent
5. MINNESOTA, 4.1 percent
6. HAWAII, 4.2 percent
7. NEW HAMPSHIRE, 4.3 percent
8. VERMONT, 4.4 percent
9. IDAHO, 4.5 percent
10. IOWA, 4.6 percent
10. MONTANA, 4.6 percent
12. COLORADO, 4.7 percent
12. OKLAHOMA, 4.7 percent
12. WYOMING, 4.7 percent
15. KANSAS, 4.8 percent
16. TEXAS?, 5.2 percent
17. VIRGINIA, 5.5 percent
17. WISCONSIN, 5.5 percent
19. OHIO, 5.6 percent
20. INDIANA, 5.7 percent
20. PENNSYLVANIA, 5.7 percent
20. WASHINGTON, 5.7 percent
23. MAINE, 5.8 percent
24. LOUISIANA, 6.0 percent
24. MASSACHUSETTS, 6.0 percent
26. FLORIDA, 6.1 percent
27. ARKANSAS, 6.2 percent
27. NEW YORK, 6.2 percent
29. MARYLAND, 6.3 percent
29. MISSOURI, 6.3 percent
31. CONNECTICUT, 6.4 percent
32. DELAWARE, 6.5 percent
32. NEW JERSEY?, 6.5 percent
34. ALABAMA, 6.6 percent
34. ILLINOIS, 6.6 percent
34. NEW MEXICO, 6.6 percent
34. SOUTH CAROLINA, 6.6 percent
34. WEST VIRGINIA, 6.6 percent
39. KENTUCKY, 6.7 percent
39. NORTH CAROLINA, 6.7 percent
41. ALASKA, 6.8 percent
42. ARIZONA, 6.9 percent
43. OREGON, 7.1 percent
44. MICHIGAN, 7.2 percent
45. CALIFORNIA, 7.3 percent
45. NEVADA, 7.3 percent
45. TENNESSEE, 7.3 percent
48. RHODE ISLAND, 7.6 percent
49. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, 7.7 percent
49. MISSISSIPPI, 7.7 percent
51. GEORGIA, 7.9 percent