By REBECCA PALMER
BOUNTIFUL — The Herbert campaign released a report today touting the fact that Utah unemployment dropped to 5.4 percent in September.
"This is more great news for Utah's economy. When we prioritize low taxes, reasonable regulation, and business-friendly policies, our economy grows," Governor Gary R. Herbert said. "The benefits of our laser-like focus on economic growth are being realized month after month as more Utahns are being employed. That said, too many Utahns are still out of work, and we won't relent until every Utahn who wants a job can get one."
The new numbers from the Utah Dept. of Workforce Services estimate that about 73,100 Utah residents remain out of work.
The most recent national numbers show unemployment at 7.8 percent.
On Wednesday, Herbert’s opponent General Peter Cooke criticized the governor for being misleading about how well he is managing state government.
Cooke pointed to a report by the CATO institute that ranks the governor a “D” for “steady increases in spending in recent years and the state government employment is up 6 percent since the beginning of 2010(sic).” The institute also criticized a tax increase on hospitals and the addition of a $1.01 per pack tax increase on cigarette consumers.
The conservative Utah Libertas blog also weighed in about the CATO report.
“We agree with much of what the Governor says in his campaign speeches — that regulations and taxes should be decreased and that businesses should be left free to prosper, “ wrote Connor Boyack, president of the group. “We observe a large disconnect, however, between the rhetoric and the record. And with CATO’s report, it appears we’re not the only ones.”
The general election that will decide the contest between Herbert and Cooke is Nov. 6, but early voting starts on Tuesday, Oct. 23. The last day to register to vote online or in person is Monday, Oct. 22.