TRENTON - New Jersey's unemployment rate dipped to 8.5 percent in August, from 8.6 percent the previous month. It's the lowest level since March 2009.

But the state Labor Department reports the state lost 1,500 jobs last month, following a decline of 10,700 jobs in July, according to revised estimates.

The state's jobless rate has fallen by more than a full percentage since August 2012.

However, it remains more than a percentage point above the national rate, which was pegged last month at 7.3 percent.