- Associated Press - Thursday, July 16, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey’s unemployment rate in June has fallen to its lowest level since October 2008 at 6.1 percent.

New Bureau of Labor Statistics figures released Thursday show the state’s the rate has fallen 0.4 percentage points compared with last month.

Despite the lower rate New Jersey’s economy lost 7,400 jobs in June.

The state’s labor participation rate also dropped slightly in June to 64.1 percent, down from 64.3 percent last in May. That’s above the national rate of 62.6 percent.

New Jersey’s private-sector employment growth from June 2014 through June 2015 increased by 39,400 jobs.

This is the state’s first jobs report since Gov. Chris Christie declared he is seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

Christie has pointed to private-sector job growth as a sign the economy is strengthening.

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