New Jersey's unemployment rate has increased slightly, ending a run of four consecutive months of improvement.

The state Labor Department announced Thursday that the unemployment rate for June was 8.7 percent, one-tenth of a point higher than in May.

Officials said the rate increase came largely because more residents, including new college graduates, looked for jobs.

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The department, using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, said New Jersey added 4,600 non-farm jobs in June.

The biggest gains came in leisure and hospitality and in the public sector, where the state government added 2,300 jobs, many of them seasonal. Local and federal governments also added workers. There were reductions in the number of workers in trade, transportation, utilities, information and manufacturing.

Data from May were also revised to show more job growth in that month than previously reported. The revised statistics show the state added 17,600 private sector jobs in May, 3,300 more than previously reported.

There has also been some less encouraging news for New Jersey. For the first full week of July, the state led the nation in the number of new unemployment claims.

The national unemployment rate for June was 7.6 percent, the same as May.

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