Isle jobless rate continues falling
Hawaii's annual average unemployment rate declined for the fourth year in a row last year, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said yesterday.
The rate stood at 2.8 percent in 2005, the lowest in the nation, down from 3.3 percent in 2004, 3.9 percent in 2003 and 4.1 percent in 2002, the department said.
Compared with 2004, the labor force expanded by 19,450 people and employment grew by 21,850 in 2005, it said.
During 2005, construction added 3,600 new jobs in Hawaii, expanding by 11.8 percent, while trade, transportation and utilities added the most jobs, 4,600, the department said.
"The 2005 numbers indicate a year of exceptional economic growth for Hawaii," labor director Nelson B. Befitel said.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 2.7 percent -- marking the 10th consecutive month the rate has remained below 3 percent -- down from 3 percent in November 2004.
In December, the seasonally adjusted labor force stood at 650,150 and was comprised of 632,300 employed and 17,850 unemployed.
Meanwhile, the department also reported the percentage of workers in Hawaii holding two or more jobs held steady at 7.6 percent from 2003 to 2004.