NJ jobless rate dips to 9.6 percent

December 20, 2012

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey's unemployment rate dipped by a one-tenth of a percentage point in November to 9.6 percent. It was the third straight monthly decline after having climbed to as high as 9.9 percent.

Preliminary estimates show the state lost 8,100 jobs last month, partly as a result of the effects of Superstorm Sandy.

But the state's chief economist, Charles Steindel, describes the loss as "fairly modest" given how badly the storm affected New Jersey.

Revised figures also show that job losses in October totaled only 1,000 and not more than 11,000 as was originally estimated.

Despite the third straight monthly drop, New Jersey's jobless rate remains nearly 2 percentage points above the national rate, which was pegged at 7.7 percent in November.