N.J. jobless rate jumps to 9.6 percent despite gains

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.

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