Voters have their work cut out for them trying to decide which gubernatorial candidate to believe regarding the state of the Bay State economy.

Last week, the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported that preliminary job figures for July showed an overall job growth of 13,200 jobs, with an increase of 19,200 private jobs. The report noted that it was the largest monthly private-sector job gain of the last 20 years and the sixth straight month of overall job growth in Massachusetts.

Gov. Deval Patrick saw it as "yet another sign that we are rebounding and the Commonwealth's recovery is real." He said it "shows that our strategic investments in the innovation industries and efforts to improve the business climate are hitting their marks," and promised "we will continue to push forward."

But for Tim Cahill, the current state treasurer now an independent candidate vying for Patrick's seat, "The latest unemployment numbers are indicative that Massachusetts is not 'on the mend and on the move' as Governor Patrick claims. The fact of the matter is that unemployment has doubled since the Governor took office and there are still nearly 11,000 more Massachusetts residents who are unemployed now than there were a year ago."

As for GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker, he viewed the numbers as indicative of a "mediocre recovery."

His statement: Massachusetts continues to have record unemployment that is dogged by the over-taxing, over-spending and over-regulatory policies of the Patrick-Cahill Administration. Since Deval Patrick took office, there are 154,000 more people out of work in Massachusetts. ...

"At 9 percent unemployment, Massachusetts businesses are never going to start hiring at the pace the people of Massachusetts need them to if we don't reverse Governor Patrick's higher taxes and onerous regulations that have dragged down our economy. While any job growth is good news right now, 312,000 people remain out of work. We have to do better."

As might be expected, the incumbent sees the glass as half full, while his challengers view it as half empty. Voters will have to decide Nov. 2 whose view most accurately describes their reality.

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