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NJ unemployment rate holds steady at 7.1 percent

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A new report finds New Jersey's unemployment rate for February held steady at 7.1 percent as the state lost jobs and residents continued to leave the workforce.

But the report based on federal data and released Thursday by the state Labor Department does have a bright side. Its revisions to January numbers find the state added 6,300 jobs that month.

Previously, the January figures showed the state losing more than 2,000 jobs in the month.

The report finds private sector employment declined by nearly 5,000 last month. The loss was partly offset by gains of 1,200 jobs in the public sector.

State Treasury Department economist Charles Steindel says a stormy winter affected jobs creation, especially in leisure and hospitality.

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