New Jersey added 17,300 jobs in March, but the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.4 percent.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

New data released Thursday showed the number of New Jersey residents with jobs also climbed in March, from 4,367,600 to 4,378,500.

The state Labor and Workforce Development says the rate climbed from 4.3 percent because more residents entered the labor force.

Most of the job gains were in sectors including leisure and hospitality, education and construction. Manufacturing jobs contracted by 200 jobs.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie has been touting the state's falling unemployment rate lately, saying that his vetoes of tax increases and regulatory reductions have contributed to the falling rate.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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