The Obama administration says the pace of health insurance signups picked up in November.

Obamacare website (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

In New Jersey, where residents must use the federal exchange to enroll, 3,259 persons signed up in November, compared to 741 in October.

But that's not necessarily great news, because the numbers --for both the Garden State and the nation-- are still well behind the administration's goals.

The new national total of close to 365,000 people as of Nov. 30 is less than one-third the number officials had been aiming for prior to the launch of HealthCare.gov. The balky website has improved but still has some service problems.

A report from the Health and Human Services Department says that more than 137,000 have enrolled in the 36 states served by the federal website, up from fewer than 27,000 in October.

The 14 states running their own sites enrolled more than 227,000 people, up from 79,000.

Originally the administration estimated 1.2 million would enroll by the end of November.

The real enrollment crunch is just about to start.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)