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Hawaii jobless rate dips to 4.4% in April, lowest since 2008

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:09 p.m. HST, May 15, 2014

Hawaii's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate slipped to 4.4 percent in April from 4.5 percent in March, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported Thursday.

The April rate was the lowest since August 2008 when it also was 4.4 percent. Hawaii's jobless rate has been steadily declining since peaking at 7.1 percent in the summer of 2009 during the last recession. April marked the 16th consecutive month that Hawaii's jobless rate has been under 5 percent.

The state's labor force, which includes those who are employed and others who are unemployed but actively seeking work, rose to a record 660,400 in April, according to the report.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in April, down from 6.7 percent in March.

The state and national numbers are adjusted for seasonal factors, such as retailers hiring temporary sales staff for the holiday shopping season. County jobs data are not seasonally adjusted.

The report showed that the unemployment rate fell across all counties in April from March. It fell to 3.8 percent from 3.9 percent in Honolulu County, to 5.7 percent from 5.8 percent in Hawaii County, to 5 percent from 5.3 percent in Kauai County, and to 4.6 percent from 4.9 percent in Maui County.

The unemployment rate is derived largely from a monthly telephone survey of households. A separate survey of businesses showed that the number of payroll jobs in Hawaii rose by 3,300 in April from March.

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