Friday, July 25, 2014         

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Broad jobless rate at 15.8% in Hawaii

By Alan Yonan Jr.


A broad measure of joblessness that includes those who are forced into part-time jobs or have become so discouraged that they've stopped looking for work remains relatively high in Hawaii, according to a new report.

The unemployment rate for those workers averaged 15.8 percent during the 12-month period ended June 30, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday. Although that was an improvement from the 16 percent average rate for the 12-month period ended March 31, it still was considerably higher than a narrower measure of unemployment reported on a monthly basis. That rate, which excludes part-timers and discouraged workers, averaged 7 percent for the year through June 30.

Hawaii's monthly rate, which fell to 6.3 percent in June, was low enough to rank Hawaii sixth best out of the 50 states and the District Of Columbia. For the broader measure of unemployment, which the BLS calls the "U-6" rate, Hawaii was 23rd from the bottom. The U.S. average in the U-6 category was 16.8 percent.

Kaitibo Timon, a 50-year-old maintenance worker from Laie, said he has been looking for full-time work since he lost his job at Brigham Young University-Hawaii in December.

"I was there almost 20 years. It's been very difficult to find something in my field," he said. Timon said his wife works as a travel agent to help pay the bills.

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