The unemployment rate in the Garden State is now at 4.2 percent, its lowest level in 11 years. But many Jersey residents continue to scramble just to make ends meet.

Data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics shows there are 174,000 New Jerseyans with more than one job. But the actual number may be much higher for multiple reasons, including some people being paid under the table.

Robert Asaro-Angelo, the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, said efforts are being ramped up to help New Jerseyans improve their work skills so they’re able to get one higher-paying job instead of two lower-paying positions.

“This is a workers' market. Employers are looking to hire, employers are willing to do more than before as far as benefits and pay and training," he said.

“Every concern raised by employers has been I need workers, I need workers with these skills, I can’t find workers.”

He said the Department of Labor and Workforce Development is helping job seekers improve their skills, whether they’re looking for work or currently employed.

“A person can go to any of the 30 One-Stop Career Centers across the state to meet with a counselor and talk about what they need for their training.”

Sometimes people may not realize they’ve had one type of experience that could valuable in a different kind of industry and so they may not even consider employment opportunities that could be a good match.

“What we’re trying to do as a statewide system is match those competencies to the other appropriate job and get them on the right pathway forward based on the experience they already have," he said.

Information about the state’s One-Stops is available at

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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