TRENTON - Private-sector employers in New Jersey added 13,800 jobs in August and the state unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent.

New Bureau of Labor Statistics figures released Thursday show the state's rate has fallen 0.2 percentage points from the previous month. It's the lowest rate since August 2008.

The August report contrasts with the July figures that showed the state losing almost 14,000 jobs. Since Christie has been governor the private sector has added 191,800 jobs.

New Jersey's labor participation rate dropped slightly in August to 63.7 percent, down from 63.9 percent in July. That's above the national rate of 62.6 percent.

The report comes hours after Gov. Chris Christie competed in the second Republican presidential debate.

Christie's office hailed the data, saying it showed major private sector growth.