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NJ’s Jobless Rate Dips

Job seekers line up at a job fair at the Hotel Pennsylvania - New York, NY - Sep 29, 2010 - Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Job seekers line up at a job fair. (credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey’s unemployment rate dipped one-tenth to 9.1 percent in December.

The Garden State’s jobless rate remained below the national average of 9.4 percent.

Figures released Wednesday by the state Labor Department showed total nonfarm wage and salary employment was down by 16,300 jobs in December, falling to a seasonally adjusted level of 3,828,000.

The Labor Department says the private sector shed 13,300 jobs last month while the public sector cut 3,000 jobs.

The department says a preliminary over-the-year analysis from December 2009 to December 2010 shows employment in New Jersey was lower by 30,700 jobs. Most of those jobs were in the public sector.

The department says the 2010 numbers were in stark contrast with 2009 when New Jersey lost 121,100 private sector jobs while recording a job gain of 7,000 in the public sector.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)