State unemployment rate at 17-year low

The state announced Thursday that New Jersey’s unemployment rate ticked lower in November, bringing it to a 17-year low of 4 percent.

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development said in a news release that the 0.1 of a percentage point decline from October’s revised rate of 4.1 percent — unchanged from the prior month — represented the lowest mark since June 2001.

Overall employment slipped slightly, with nonfarm jobs down 1,800 positions, to a total of 4,211,400. Revised October numbers showed a jobs gain of 17,300, which was 100 positions below the prior estimate.

Five of nine major private-industry sectors saw job decreases in November, the state said. The poorest-faring sector was professional and business services, which declined by 3,600 jobs. The information sector also saw a loss in the four-digits, at minus-1,200 jobs for the month. Industries adding jobs included education and health services, with a gain of 2,100 jobs; construction, up 1,800 jobs; and trade, transportation and utilities, up 1,300 jobs.

Public sector employment fell by 1,000 jobs.