Number of the Day: 9.1 percent

May 21, 2012 | Number of The Day

New Jersey’s unemployment rate is going in the wrong direction, according to recently released numbers from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which pegged the state’s unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, up from 9 percent over the past few months.

The number of unemployed in New Jersey is the highest since last November, when the rate was 9.2 percent. It had dropped slightly to 9 percent at the beginning of this year.

New Jersey has stubbornly resisted matching a national trend in an improving job outlook: Nationally, the unemployment rate is 8.1 percent, a steady decrease from the 8.7 percent last November. The state’s unemployment picture is equally poor when compared with surrounding states: New York is 8.5 percent and Pennsylvania is 7.4 percent. The hardest-hit metropolitan areas in the state are the shore and parts of South Jersey. Ocean City has an unemployment rate of 15.8 percent, and Atlantic City-Hammonton is 13,2 percent. The Vineland-Milleville-Bridgeton region has a 13.6 percent unemployment rate.