Unemployment down sharply from a year ago in Pa., N.J.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 percent in July, down from 7.5 percent a year ago, the U.S. Labor Department reported Monday. Payrolls grew by 54,100 jobs to nearly 5.8 million. The number of unemployed people fell to 360,700 from 486,100 a year ago, but grew by 3,500 people since June.

New Jersey's unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 percent in July from 8.3 percent a year ago, with the number of unemployed declining to 293,000 in July from 375,000 a year ago. Payrolls expanded to just over 3.95 million jobs in July from just under 3.94 million a year ago. The statistics do not reflect the pending job losses from the closing Atlantic City casinos. - Jane M. Von Bergen