Isle jobless rate
stays low at 3.3%


Hawaii's labor market remained tight last month as the state's low unemployment rate -- a seasonally adjusted 3.3 percent -- remained unchanged from the previous month.

The state's unemployment rate in November was an improvement from the 4.4 percent unemployment rate a year earlier, according to statistics released yesterday by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

"Hawaii's economy has had a banner year in 2004, benefiting from the creation of new jobs in numerous sectors," said Nelson Befitel, state labor director.

Hawaii's unemployment rate remained well below the national rate of 5.4 percent in November, and has remained at least 2 percentage points below the national average since April. Last month's rate was the third-lowest in the nation.

Hawaii's work force grew by 3,600 jobs last month to a seasonally adjusted 637,550, not including agricultural jobs, while the number of unemployed dropped 21.7 percent to 21,600 from 27,600 a year earlier.

The hospitality and leisure industries added 300 jobs, while the government sector added another 1,800 jobs, largely due to the hiring of workers for the general election.

Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

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