EDISON - The U.S. Department of Labor released some discouraging figures yesterday which reveal a disturbing trend in unemployment in New Jersey.

According to statistics, the state's unemployment rate has been at or above 9 percent for 38 months in a row.

The state's jobless rate in July was the highest in 35 years, at 9.8 percent.

Today, the rate is even higher, at 9.9 percent.

The unemployment increase followed two months of strong private-sector job growth. The state was adding private-sector jobs in May and June, but unemployment continued to rise as more people looked for work.

The numbers show 5,300 jobs were added across the state last month, while another 7,300 were lost.