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Hawaii jobless rate edges up, but still one of nation’s lowest

Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4 percent in October from 4.3 percent in September, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported today.

Hawaii was one of only 11 states and the District Columbia that experienced an increase in unemployment in October from September. Despite the rise, Hawaii’s unemployment rate was the fourth lowest nationally in October. Hawaii’s rate also was well below the national average of 7.3 percent unemployment.

The state and national numbers are adjusted for seasonal factors, such as students leaving the labor force after working summer jobs. County jobs data are not seasonally adjusted.The report showed that the unemployment rate increased to 6.4 percent from 6.1 percent in Hawaii County, to 5.6 percent from 5.2 percent in Kauai County, and to 5 percent from 4.8 percent in Maui County.

The unemployment rate is derived largely from a monthly telephone survey of households. A separate survey of businesses showed that the number of payroll jobs in Hawaii fell by 700 in October from September on a net basis.

 The biggest changes were in the construction industry, which lost 800 jobs, and the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which gained 1,000 positions, according to the report.

Compared to October of 2012, however, the number of overall jobs increased by 6,600, according to the report.

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