TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – New Jersey experienced a slight uptick in its unemployment rate last month.

The state lost about 400 jobs in May, according to the latest figures from the state Labor Department. That doesn’t sound like much, but it ended three straight months of growth in the Garden State and inched the statistical jobless rate up to 9.4 percent (above the national average of 9.1 percent).

“Individuals are feeling more confident in the labor market — they’re going back to look for work, and that caused the umemployment rate to tick up again,” explains Aaron Fichtner, a New Jersey Labor Department analyst.

Besides, Fichtner suggests, monthly numbers don’t mean much. It’s trends that count — and the state has gained 30,000 jobs since January.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060

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