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Hawaii jobless rate holds at record-low 2.1%

Hawaii’s number of unemployed fell to its lowest level in more than 28 years as the jobless rate in February held at 2.1 percent for the fifth month in a row.

The seasonally adjusted rate, which is the lowest in the nation, matched the all-time low for Hawaii. The number of nonfarm payroll jobs increased 2,300 over January, according to data released today by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Professional and business services showed the largest gain at 1,300. The growth in payroll jobs includes both vacancies and newly created positions.

Those unemployed in the labor force fell to 14,050 from 14,350 in January. It matched the lowest level since there were 14,050 unemployed in December 1989. The all-time low was 12,550 in June 1989.

“It is a difficult situation for employers, the same as the previous few months,” said Eugene Tian, chief economist for the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. “It’s hard to find workers because people in the pool looking for jobs is getting smaller. It’s now just a little over 14,000.”

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