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Hawaii's jobless rate ticked up to 4.5% in December

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:38 p.m. HST, Jan 27, 2014

Hawaii's seasonally unemployment rate edged up to 4.5 percent in December from 4.4 percent in November, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported today.

Despite the increase, the report painted an overall positive picture of Hawaii's labor market. The labor force, which is made up of people who are employed and unemployed but looking for work, rose by 4,200 in December from November.

Employment grew by 3,400, outpacing an 850 increase in unemployment. The data suggest that the rise in unemployment was due to workers entering the labor force to look for work rather than people losing their jobs.

Labor force data are adjusted for seasonal variations, such as temporary hiring by retailers for the holidays. The data are gathered from a telephone survey of households.

A separate survey of businesses showed that the number of non-agricultural jobs increased by 3,300 in December from January. Employers added 900 jobs in the "other services" category, and 400 in construction and 200 in leisure and hospitality.

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