New Jersey unemployment rate edges down in July, still higher than national average

Economic Indicators Associated Press

New Jersey's unemployment rate edged down one-tenth of a percent in July to 6.5 percent, but still remains above the national average of 6.2 percent.

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The report released Thursday by the state Labor Department and based on data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows private sector employers added 8,500 jobs during the month.

Public sector employment was down by 2,800, led by a greater than expected seasonal drop at the local government level.

Private sector job growth occurred for professional and business services, trade, transportation and utilities, construction, financial activities and manufacturing.

Job losses occurred in other services, leisure and hospitality, and information sectors.

Total nonfarm wage and salary employment increased in New Jersey in July to a seasonally adjusted level of 3,950,600.