Hawaii’s unemployment rate declined for the fifth straight month and hit 2.9 percent in December, the lowest level since Sepember 2007, according to data released today by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
The seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month even as nonagricultural payroll jobs fell by 700 from November.
Hawaii’s lowest unemployment rate since January 1976 — the oldest available data — was 2.4 percent, achieved from October through December 2006 and May through September 1989.
For the U.S. the unemployment rate for December was 4.7 percent, up from 4.6 percent in November. The U.S. rate was reported earlier this month.
Hawaii’s labor force, which includes people who are employed and those who are unemployed but actively seeking work, increased to a record 699,900 from the previous high of 696,850 in November.
There were a record 679,900 people employed in December, up from the previous high of 676,200 the previous month. The number of unemployed fell to 20,000 from 20,650.