By Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2020

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey’s unemployment rate ticked up to 3.5% from 3.4%, though the state added 6,500 jobs in December, according to new data released Thursday by the state Labor and Workforce Development Department.

The rate was up over the previous month because more residents entered the labor market in search of work, the department said.

The biggest growth industries last month included leisure and hospitality, which added 3,400 jobs, and business services, which added 2,700.

Officials also revised downward the number of jobs created in November by 1,300, though the jobless rate of 3.4% remained unchanged.

The national unemployment rate in December also stood at 3.5%, according to federal data.

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