There’s good and bad news on the Jersey labor front.

The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development has announced the private sector  added 63 hundred new jobs in April – marking the seventh time in the last eight months that employment in the Garden state edged upward  - but Jersey’s unemployment rate also increased slightly – to 9.1 percent.

A Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development news release says this signals more people are actively looking for jobs.

In the release, Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury says “in just one month, we came within 1 thousand jobs of completely reversing the March decline in private-sector employment. The number of New Jersey residents working is at a three-year high with over 71 thousand private sector jobs added since February 2010. These numbers are consistent with continuing job growth.”

He goes on to say “while the (unemployment) rate edged up, it’s due to improvement in the labor market with New Jersey’s labor participation rate climbing to 66 percent. This stands in contrast to the national figure which dipped in April.”

Then national unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point in April, to 8.1 percent.