TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey officials say the state lost nearly 12,000 jobs in October but the unemployment rate also dropped by one-tenth of one percent.

The state’s unemployment rate for October was 9.7 percent, down from 9.8 percent for September.

The biggest losses came in the leisure and hospitality industry, which lost 9,700 jobs. The biggest gains came in construction, which added 4,500 jobs. That’s an industry likely to get a boost as rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy gets under way.

New Jersey’s Labor and Workforce Development Department boasts that the state has added 73,600 private-sector jobs overall since February 2010.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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