The Garden State currently has an unemployment rate of 9.6 percent, but Governor Christie insists the New Jersey Comeback is still going strong.

During last nights edition of Townsquare Media’s “Ask The Governor” program, Christie said, “People need to understand how they come up with the unemployment number – we added nearly 10 thousand new jobs last month, and we’ve added more jobs in the last 6 months than we did in all of 2011, and 2011 was the best job growth year since the year 2000…We’ve now added nearly 90 thousand private sector jobs since I became Governor.”

He said there are two elements that make up the unemployment number – how many people are out of work and how many people are looking for work, and “New Jersey’s labor participation rate – the number of people who are actively looking for a job – is over 2 percent over the national labor participation rate…What that means is our folks are more optimistic about finding a job, and more of them are out looking for a job than the average across the country.”

He also said, “We added 10 thousand new jobs and the unemployment rate went up 4 tenths of one percent. I said to Labor Commissioner Hal Wirths, ‘how the hell is that possible?’…The explanation is because more and more people are now getting off the couch and saying, ‘You know what? This economy is getting so much better in New Jersey I think I can get a job if I start actively looking…that’s what’s causing it.’ An economist from the Brookings Institution said this is one of the indications that an economy is really getting ready to heat up, when the labor participation rate increases significantly…That’s telling you that people believe they’re going to be able to find work, so I absolutely believe that the New Jersey Comeback has begun – it hasn’t arrived completely- it’s begun.”