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Honolulu jobless rate edges down to 5.4% in November

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Honolulu’s job market improved slightly in November with the unemployment rate for the metropolitan area edging down to 5.4 percent from 5.5 percent in October, according to a report released today.

The rate was the 21st lowest out of 372 metropolitan areas surveyed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The metro area data are not adjusted for seasonal variations, such as increased hiring by the retail sector ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Honolulu’s rate compared with an increase in the unadjusted statewide jobless rate to 6.5 percent in November from 6.4 percent the month before. The more widely followed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Hawaii was unchanged at 6.4 percent in November.

Bismark, N.D., had the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.3 percent, while El Centro, Calif., near the Mexico border, topped the list with a jobless rate of 29.1 percent. Among the 13 metro areas with jobless rates of 15 percent or higher, 11 were in California. Of the 11 areas with rates below 5 percent, nine were in the northern Plains.

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