POSTED: 03:11 p.m. HST, Apr 10, 2012
Honolulu’s unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent in February from 5.6 percent in January, putting it in a group of cities with the lowest jobless rates nationwide, according to a report released today.
Honolulu tied with Lubbock and San Angelo, Texas for the 24th lowest unemployment rate out of 372 metropolitan areas surveyed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The total labor force in Honolulu, which includes both employed and unemployed, fell by to 462,100 in February from 462,900 in January. The number of unemployed fell to 25,300 from 26,100.
Metropolitan unemployment rates are not adjusted for seasonal changes, such as temporary hiring in the retail sector for the holiday shopping season.
Honolulu's February unemployment rate compared with rates of 9.0 percent for Hawaii County, 7.9 percent for Kauai County and 6.7 percent for Maui County. The statewide unadjusted rate was 6.2 in February. When adjusted for seasonal factors, the statewide rate was 6.4 percent.
Honolulu was in a group of about 40 cities with jobless rates below 6 percent in February. Bismarck, N.D., had the nation's lowest rate at 3.8 percent in February. The job market in North Dakota has been helped by a boom in its oil drilling industry.
El Centro, Calif., reported the nation's highest rate at 26.7 percent, followed by Yuma, Ariz., at 23.7 percent. The cities are in adjacent counties with heavy farm economies and large contingents of migrant labor. California accounted for eight of the nation's 10 highest rates in February, the bureau said.