TRENTON - New Jersey plans to reduce the state public employee workforce by 1,200 jobs through layoffs and attrition early next year.

Gov. Chris Christie said at a news conference yesterday that the state's Civil Service Commission has been notified of the plan. Christie said the layoffs are needed to balance the state's $29.4 billion budget. He says officials will continue to monitor tax revenues and make adjustments if they are warranted.

The planned layoffs might have come earlier, but a deal between union leaders and former Gov. Jon S. Corzine prevented layoffs until 2011.

AP wire services contributed to this report.