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Hawaii jobless rate fell to 4.3% in August, lowest in 5 years

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Hawaii’s unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 4.3 percent in August, the lowest level in more than five years, the state Department of Labor and Industrial relations reported today.

The August rate was down from 4.5 percent in July. The last time Hawaii’s unemployment rate was 4.3 percent or lower was in July 2008.

However, the report was not all positive. DLIR data showed that along with the decline in unemployment the overall labor force shrank, suggesting that some of those searching for a job simply quit looking.

The number of unemployed declined by 950 in August from July. Had all those people gotten jobs the number of people employed would have gone up by an equal amount. But the DLIR data showed that the number of employed fell by 250 in August. The labor force, which is a combination of employed workers and those who are unemployed but actively looking for work, totaled 643,600 in August, down 1,250 from July.

Hawaii’s August unemployment rate compared with a 7.3 percent rate nationally.

The state and national unemployment numbers are adjusted for seasonal variations, such as college graduates and other students entering the workforce during the summer.

County data are not seasonally adjusted. The DLIR reported that the rate in Honolulu County fell to 3.8 percent in August from 4.2 percent in July. The rate fell to 5.8 percent from 6.7 percent in Hawaii County, to 4.9 percent from 5.2 percent in Kauai County, and to 4.5 percent from 4.8 percent in Maui County.

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