New Jersey's unemployment rate dipped by a one-tenth of a percentage point in November to 9.6 percent. It was the third straight monthly decline after having climbed to as high as 9.9 percent.

Unemployment Line
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Preliminary estimates show the state lost 8,100 jobs last month, partly as a result of the effects of Superstorm Sandy.

But the state's chief economist, Charles Steindel, describes the loss as "fairly modest" given how badly the storm affected New Jersey.

“This is a remarkably good showing under the circumstances created by Sandy. It seems clear that the storm generated some job losses, particularly in leisure and hospitality, but the total loss for the state was fairly modest, and the unemployment rate continues to drift down. Moreover, the sharp upward revision in the October number shows us that once again that first reports of large losses can be exaggerated,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.

Revised figures also show that job losses in October totaled only 1,000 and not more than 11,000 as was originally estimated.

Despite the third straight monthly drop, New Jersey's jobless rate remains nearly 2 percentage points above the national rate, which was pegged at 7.7 percent in November.


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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