New Jersey's jobless rate climbed to 8.2 percent in February, nearly a full percentage point above January's rate of 7.3 percent.
The state Labor Department says that's the first time since October 2006 the state's jobless rate eclipsed the national average, which was 8.1 percent in February.
February was the 13th straight month that employment fell in the Garden State.
Over 30,000 jobs were lost in the Garden State in the first two months of the year.
The state says the largest job contractions were in professional and business services, manufacturing, construction and financial activities.
The only areas with significant job growth were education and