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Hawaii jobless rate unchanged at 4.6% in February

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Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.6 percent in February from January, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations reported Thursday.

Hawaii’s jobless rate peaked at 7.1 percent in the summer of 2009 during the last recession, and had been slowly declining since then. The rate has been under 5 percent since January 2013.

Nationally, the unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent in February from 6.6 percent in January.

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 to 4.1 percent from 4.2 percent in Honolulu County. The rate rose to 5.1 percent from 5 percent in Maui County and to 5.6 percent from 5.4 percent in Kauai County. The jobless rate was unchanged at 6.1 percent in Hawaii 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 fell by 2,300 in February from January. However, compared with February 2013 the number of payroll jobs increased by 4,400.

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