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Wednesday, November 22, 2000

Hawaii unemployment
sinks to 3.8 percent

By Russ Lynch

Hawaii's unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent last month, a fall of 1.4 percentage points from the year-earlier level of 5.2 percent, the state Labor Department said today.

Art Hawaii's rate was close to the national rate of 3.6 percent in October. (Neither rate is seasonally adjusted.) Hawaii's has been above the U.S. level all year.

Hawaii's October unemployment rate was also an improvement from September's 4.5 percent.

There were 22,850 people out of work in Hawaii last month, 8,200 fewer than the 31,050 jobless in October 1999. There was job growth too, a sign of improvement in the Hawaii economy. The state figures show 573,900 people in jobs last month, 9,800 more than 564,100 in October 1999.

Every island showed a year-over-year decrease in the jobless figure. Oahu was down to only 3.4 percent unemployed, compared with 4.7 percent a year earlier. The Big Island jobless level was 5.8 percent last month, vs. 7.5 percent a year earlier. Kauai also showed as 5.8 percent level last month, down from 7 percent. Maui was at 3.2 percent, down from 4.6 percent, and Lanai had a 4.4 percent rate last month, down from 5 percent in October 1999.

Molokai continued to lead the state in unemployment but its 14.9 percent level last month was an improvement from 18.1 percent a year earlier.

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