July was a good month for job seekers in New Jersey, although the pace of hiring was still slow.

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The state's unemployment rate dropped in July to 6.5 percent, according to date released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. New Jersey's unemployment rate remains behind the national rate of 6.2 percent.

Overall, New Jersey created 8,500 private sector jobs in July.  In the public sector, 1,300 jobs were lost.  Total employment in the state, excluding agriculture, added up to nearly 4 million jobs as of July.

"Your highest-paying in New Jersey are your professional and business services, and they increased by 5,400," said Hal Wirths, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Another bright spot in July was construction hiring, which saw an increase of 2,000 jobs.  There were also gains in professional and business services, financial activities, manufacturing, trade, transportation and utilities.

Industries that experienced job contraction were leisure and hospitality, with the loss of 700 jobs and information, which lost 400 jobs.

Wirths said so far this year, New Jersey's private sector employment has grown by 27,600 jobs.

Despite the falling unemployment rate, Wirths remains committed to creating jobs for every New Jersey resident in need of one. "We're not going to be happy until everyone who is looking for a job has a job," Wirths said.