The unemployment rate in Texas rose to 8.5 percent in August, putting the state in the middle of the pack nationally and undercutting GOP presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry's argument that he is the best job-creator of the governors nationwide. The numbers were released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.

Perry's campaign blamed the increase on the national recession and President Obama's policies. "Texas is not immune to the effects of the national recession. Yet Texas continues to outperform the rest of the country and is still home to roughly 40% of the net new jobs created nationwide since June 2009," Perry spokesman Mark Miner said in an email. "And even during this national economic downturn, which the president’s misguided policies have only worsened, Texas remains the nation’s top economy, attracting jobs and growing by more than 1,000 people a day."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's (R) campaign jumped on the number, pointing out in a press release that it was more than double the 4.2 percent unemployment rate Perry inherited when he became governor.

The state's unemployment rate remains below the national average of 9.1 percent. Texas has still added 253,000 jobs in the last year, but that growth hasn't kept up with population growth.

— Updated at 4:39 p.m. to include Miner's statement.