NJ Unemployment Falls

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    New Jersey's jobless rate dropped by two-tenths to 9.3 percent in February, according to preliminary figures released Thursday.

    The state Labor Department reported that employers added 12,900 workers to their payrolls for the month. Higher employment levels were recorded in both the private and public sectors.

    The state's unemployment rate, however, remained well above the federal rate, which fell by one-tenth to 7.7 percent in February.

    Adjusted figures show New Jersey's unemployment rate has not been below 9 percent since May 2009, when Democrat Jon Corzine was in office and former prosecutor Chris Christie was campaigning to unseat him.

    Charles Steindel, Gov. Christie's chief economist, touted the most recent report as further evidence that jobs are being created in the state.

    "This is another solid jobs report that continues the general, upward trend of growth and progress established under the Christie administration," Steindel said, "bringing the number of private-sector jobs added under this administration to 120,000."

    Job gains were posted in education and health services, information, and leisure and hospitality, among other sectors. Job losses were reported in trade, transportation and utilities, financial activities, construction and manufacturing.

    Public-sector employment gained 5,800 positions, with federal, state and local governments all showing gains.

    January's jobs numbers were revised downward to show a loss of 2,200 jobs from December to January.