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State jobless rate holds at 6.3 percent

By Andrew Gomes

LAST UPDATED: 2:49 p.m. HST, Mar 7, 2011

More people in Hawaii had jobs in January, but not enough to move the unemployment rate.

Hawaii's unemployment rate in January was 6.3 percent, unchanged from December, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

The rate remained well below the national average, which improved to 9 percent in January from 9.4 percent in December. The national unemployment rate dipped further to 8.9 percent in February, but Hawaii has not released its February numbers yet.

Hawaii's rate reflected subtle changes in the numbers of people employed and looking for jobs. There were 590,800 people employed in January, or 100 more than in December. There were 39,650 unemployed in January compared with 40,000 in December. The difference between the gain in employment and reduction in unemployment exists because some people move, give up looking for a job or otherwise exit the labor force.

Based on figures not seasonally adjusted, Honolulu had the lowest unemployment rate among counties at 5.4 percent. The highest rate was on the Big Island at 9.3 percent. Kauai's unemployment rate was 8.5 percent. And Maui County's rate was 7.9 percent, which included the island of Maui (7.9 percent), Molokai (12 percent) and Lanai (5.3 percent).


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