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Honolulu jobless rate edges down to 5.2% in Feb.

The unemployment rate in Honolulu eased to 5.2 percent in February from 5.4 percent in January, but the rate was still more than double what it was before the recession, according to a federal report released today.

There were 23,000 people unemployed in the metropolitan area in February out of a total labor force of 443,700, the Bureau of Labor statistics reported. Honolulu’s February unemployment rate compared with a 5.7 percent rate the same month a hear earlier. It compared with statewide jobless rate of 6.3 percent in February. The data are not adjusted for seasonal variations.

The Honolulu rate has been slowly falling since peaking at 6.2 in August 2009 during the economic downturn. The rate had been as low as 1.8 percent in December 2006 before the recession hit.

Nationally, unemployment rates fell in 308 of the 372 metropolitan areas surveyed. Fifteen areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15 percent, while seven areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent.

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