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Friday, July 22, 2005



Hawaii jobless
rate drops

Hawaii's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.7 percent last month from 3.2 percent a year earlier, state labor officials said yesterday.

chart The low isle jobless rate should be among the lowest in the nation when figures from other states are expected to be released today.

"A healthy private sector continues to provide a strong foundation for the economy, creating jobs for our local residents," said Nelson Befitel, director of the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

The national unemployment rate in June was 5 percent, a decline from 5.6 percent in the same month a year earlier.

Hawaii's rate has been at least two percentage points below the national rate since January 2004.

Hawaii's labor force totaled 630,350 in June, with 17,100 unemployed, the department said.

There were a total of 600 jobs added last month, with a big boost from staffing increases for summer programs at the state Department of Education.

About 200 jobs were trimmed from the trade, transportation and utilities industries.

Hawaii's job count has increased by 7,800 since the beginning of the year and 14,500 since June 2004, including 13,600 in the private sector.



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