New Jersey's unemployment rate inched up in June, ending a run of four consecutive months of improvement.

The State Labor Department announced today that the unemployment rate for June was 8.7 percent, which is one-tenth of a point higher than it was in May.  More people entered the work force as recent college graduates and others encouraged by the state's growing economy began their job search.  The state added 4,600 non-farm jobs in June.

Despite the slight increase, New Jersey employers have added to their payrolls in nine of the last eleven months, increasing total non-farm jobs by 74,800 over the past year.  Since February 2010, the recessionary low point for private sector employment, the private sector has added 148,600 jobs.

"Putting together May and June, New Jersey created more than 21,000 new jobs over the last two months, continuing its recent impressive performance.  Overall resident employment also rose in June and shows a marked gain over the past year, and the unemployment rate remains a full point under last year's peak," said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.