The New Jersey Labor Department says the unemployment rate jumped nearly a half-percentage point to 9.6 percent in June even though the state added 9,900 jobs.
The Labor Department say preliminary figures now put the May-June job gains at nearly 25,000 jobs, the largest two-month increase in over 12 years.
But the jobless rate shot up from 9.2 percent in May to 9.6 percent in June. That compares to a national rate in June of 8.2 percent.
The state’s chief economist says the hike in the unemployment rate is due in part to an influx of new entrants and re-entrants to the state labor market. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively looking for a job.