New Jersey seeing its highest unemployment rate since 1977

Jobless rates rise in NY, NJ and Connecticut in July

(Reuters) – Jobless rates for New York, Connecticut and New Jersey all climbed in July, with New Jersey seeing its highest unemployment rate since 1977, according to data from the three neighboring states on Thursday.

New Jersey’s jobless rate rose for the fourth month in a row, to 9.8 percent, up from 9.6 percent in June and from 9.4 percent in July 2011, according to preliminary numbers from the state Department of Labor.

New York’s unemployment rate also increased from both June and the year-earlier month, rising to 9.1 percent. In June the jobless rate was 8.9 percent, and a year-ago July it was 8.2 percent, the state reported.

In Connecticut the unemployment rate climbed to 8.5 percent from 8.1 percent in June, but was down from 8.9 percent a year-ago.

For New York City, whose financial industry is the economic engine for the tri-state region, unemployment was unchanged at 10 percent in July, but still above year-ago levels when it was 9 percent, according to the data from the state’s Labor Department.