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Hawaii jobless rate ticks up to 5.2% in Jan. from 5.1% in Dec.

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:22 p.m. HST, Mar 15, 2013

Hawaii’s unemployment rate rose to a seasonally adjusted 5.2 percent in January from 5.1 percent in December, the first increase in 15 months, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported today.

The increase in the jobless rate was the result of some people losing their jobs and others leaving the workforce entirely, according to the report. The number of  unemployed rose to 33,850 in January, 250 more than in December. The ranks of the employed, meanwhile, fell by 950 to 618,350. The result was a decline in the overall labor force, which is a combination the two categories of workers.

The December unemployment rate was revised down from a previously reported 5.2 percent rate. Hawaii’s 5.1 percent January unemployment rate compared to a 7.9 percent rate nationally.

The statewide and national data are adjusted for seasonal variations, such as the hiring of temporary workers for the holiday shopping season.

County data are not seasonally adjusted. The unemployment rate rose to 4.8 percent from 4.2 percent for Honolulu County, to 7.6 percent from 6.9 percent for Hawaii County, to 6.5 percent from 6.1 percent for Kauai County, and to 5.7 percent from 5.2 percent for Maui County.

The labor force data are derived largely from a telephone survey of households. A separate survey of  businesses showed that the number of nonfarm payroll jobs  fell to 611,200 in January, down a net 400 from December. Within industry sectors, construction and business services each added 600 jobs. The trade, transportation and Utilities sector lost 600 jobs and leisure and hospitality shed 500 positions.

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