Jobless rate dips
slightly during July

The isle rate drops to 4 percent

Hawaii's seasonally adjustment unemployment rate dipped to 4 percent in July, down from an 11-month high of 4.1 percent recorded in June.

In July 2002, the unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent.

Art The latest figure is still well behind the national unemployment rate of 6.2 percent.

In July, Hawaii's labor force totaled 614,500, comprising 588,000 employed and 26,500 unemployed, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. July also marked the fourth consecutive month that the labor force has expanded. Since January 2003, the labor force has grown by 17,500, or 2.9 percent, the department said.

Employment in the government sector fell by 6,600. However, private sector jobs grew by 1,300, giving an overall employment decrease of 5,300 jobs for the month. Retail trade and the combined accommodation and food service sectors added 500 jobs. Social assistance increased by 400 jobs, largely due to a summer youth employment training program. Financial activities gained 300 jobs.

DLIR Director Nelson Befitel characterized the drop in unemployment as "a positive sign for the state."

"It's encouraging for our state economy that the private sector has been able to consistently produce jobs for the first half of the year," he said.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers take into account regular fluctuations throughout the year, such as teachers and students being out of school.

By factoring in those numbers, the line of unemployment is flatter and will not show dramatic shifts seen in unemployment numbers that aren't seasonally adjusted.


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