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New Jersey added 10,100 jobs in December, a gain that fell short of the 17,300 monthly average throughout the 2021 calendar year, state labor officials announced Thursday. The unemployment rate for December fell by 0.4 percentage points to 6.3%.

Although New Jersey’s monthly jobless rate has been trending downward, it remains significantly above the 3.9% national unemployment rate for December reported earlier this month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Data released by the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development showed the state’s December 2021 unemployment rate was 1.4% lower than the 7.7 % jobless rate recorded in December 2020. New Jersey has now recovered 561,200 jobs, or about 78% of the number lost in March and April 2020 when the pandemic began.

New Jersey’s job gains last month were concentrated in the private sector (+9,400). Employment gains were recorded in eight of nine major private industry sectors: leisure and hospitality (+3,800); manufacturing (+2,700); construction (+1,900); education and health services (+600); other services (+600); financial activities (+500); trade, transportation, and utilities (+100); and professional and business services (+100).

The only major private sector to record job losses was information (-900). The public sector gained 700 jobs over the month.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released total nonfarm employment estimates for November were revised higher to show an over-the-month (October – November) increase of 28,400 jobs. Preliminary estimates had previously indicated an over-the-month increase of 25,800 jobs. The state’s November unemployment rate was also revised upward by 0.1 percentage point, to 6.7%.