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Hawaii jobless rate down to 6.4% in February, lowest in 3 years

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:42 p.m. HST, Mar 29, 2012

Hawaii’s unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent in February, its lowest level in three years, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported today.

The jobless rate was down from 6.5 percent in January and 6.6 percent a year ago in February. The February rate matched the previous low of 6.4 percent in February 2009.

The declining unemployment rate in recent months has been accompanied by a decline in first-time claims for unemployment benefits. The number of people filing for unemployment insurance fell by 7 percent last week from the same period a year earlier, the DLIR reported.

In addition, the DLIR reported that the number of nonfarm payroll jobs in Hawaii grew to 595,500 in February, a net 2,900 increase over the same month a year earlier.

Among the major industry groups, the biggest gain was in the hospitality sector, which added 4,300 positions. The business services and financial activities secgtors gained 900 jobs each. The biggest job loss was in government, which had 1,200 fewer positions in February compared with a year earlier.

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