Hawaii joblessStar-Bulletin staff
rate falls to 5.8%
Hawaii's unemployment rate dipped to 5.8 percent last month, from 6.2 percent in the previous February and 6 percent in January.
The state's jobless level was still above the national level, which dropped to 4.7 percent from 5 percent a year earlier and 4.8 percent in January. However, the gap between Hawaii and the nation was narrower than it was in any month since last March.
(National figures reported by the state are not seasonally adjusted, matching the way the state does its own figures. They often differ from those reported by the U.S. government, which are seasonally adjusted).
A gain of 4,200 Hawaii jobs since January brought the number of jobs in February to 529,000 last month compared to 530,400 a year ago. Last month there were 34,600 workers without jobs in Hawaii, up from 33,100 in February 1998 but down from 36,250 in January. The state Department of Labor & Industrial Relations issued the figures yesterday.
Oahu had a 5.1 percent jobless rate last month, down from 5.2 percent in February 1998. Other islands' rates, with the year-earlier level in parentheses, were: Hawaii 8.5 percent (9.4 percent), Maui 6.3 percent (7.2 percent), Kauai 8.4 percent (10 percent), Molokai 10.2 percent (15.4 percent) and Lanai 6 percent (1.6 percent).