New Jersey's unemployment rate held steady in November at 9.7 percent, but the number of jobs in the state fell by another 9,400, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported today.

Over the last year, New Jersey has lost 103,000 jobs.

The biggest job losses last month from October were in the trade/transportation/utilities category (down 9,700 jobs), construction (down 2,800), professional/business services (down 1,900) and financial services fields (down 1,200).

"The usual retail hiring increases at this time of year did not reach the levels recorded in prior years," state Labor Commissioner David J. Socolow said.

However, employment gains were posted last month in manufacturing (up 2,500 jobs), leisure/hospitality (up 2,100) and government (up 1,500).    - Paul Schweizer