Hawaii’s unemployment rate fell slightly in 2010 to 6.6 percent, the seventh lowest rate in the country.
Last year’s rate was down from 6.8 percent in 2009, but up from 4.1 percent in 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday.
Hawaii’s job market should continue to strengthen this year, knocking the rate down to 6 percent, according to the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization. The UHERO forecast released earlier this month calls for the rate to drop further to 5.3 percent in 2012 and 3.8 percent in 2013.
Hawaii’s rising unemployment rate from 2007 through 2010 was the result of the recession and a weak recovery that was not robust enough to "generate satisfactory job creation," UHERO economists wrote in a report.
The economists said they expect the labor market to pick up, in part, because of the jobs that will be generated by the city’s rail project.
"The feeble job gains of the past year do not portend continuing labor market stagnation. Instead, more broadly based improvement will be seen in 2011 and 2012 as the Hawaii recovery strengthens and Oahu rail transit construction gets under way," they wrote in the report.
The bureau report included revisions to the monthly unemployment data for 2010. Hawaii’s rate was higher in five months and lower in three months than originally reported. It was unrevised in four months.
One of the downward changes was for December, in which the bureau revised the rate to 6.3 percent from the 6.4 percent reported last month.
10 lowest unemployment rates in 2010