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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, December 17, 2005

Hawai'i's jobless rate stays below 3%

Associated Press

Hawai'i's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.8 percent in November, marking the ninth consecutive month the rate has remained below 3 percent, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said yesterday.

The 2.8 percent unemployment was 0.1 percentage point above October, while the national month-to-month rate remained stable at 5 percent, the department said.

In November 2004, the state rate was 3.1 percent and the national rate was 5.4 percent.

Since November of last year, prominent employment gains have been made in a number of categories, state officials said.

Trade, transportation and utilities gained 4,800 jobs, construction 3,400, leisure and hospitality 3,000, and education and health services 1,700.

"Throughout 2005, significant job growth in Hawai'i has occurred in abundance across several major industries," department director Nelson B. Befitel said.

Hawai'i's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has been at least two percentage points lower than the national rate since January 2004.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, there were 630,900 employed and 18,350 unemployed in Hawai'i in November for a total labor force of 649,250, department officials said.

Compared with November 2004, the number of employed rose by 31,650, or 5.3 percent, while the number of unemployed declined by 550, or 3.0 percent, with the labor force as a whole growing by 31,050.