New Jersey's unemployment rate was 9.8 percent in September.

NJ Dept of Labor building in Trenton (NJ Dept of Labor & Workforce Development)

The state Labor Department reports the rate shrunk by one-tenth of 1 percent as the state lost 1,200 jobs for the month.

Thursday's Labor Department report is preliminary and could be revised. It measures the number of residents who are out of work but able to work and actively looking for employment.

The state unemployment rate is now 2 full points higher than the national rate. New Jersey's rate has been running at or near 35-year highs.

The national unemployment rate for September is 7.8 percent.

Three states reported had unemployment rates higher than 10 percent in August. They are California, Nevada and Rhode Island.

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