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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, March 11, 2005

Hawai'i's jobless rate stays flat at 3%

By Sean Hao
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawai'i's jobless rate in January remained at 3 percent, which marked the second consecutive month the state had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation.

The January seasonally adjusted jobless rate, which was down from 3.6 percent in January 2004, was released yesterday by the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations after a delay caused partly by a change in the methodology used to calculate the figures. The low unemployment rate shows Hawai'i's economy remains on strong footing, helped by a robust real-estate market and a stable tourism sector.

Hawai'i's rate remains significantly below the national seasonally adjusted 5.2 percent in January. The seasonal adjustment attempts to eliminate the influence of holidays and other recurring events.

The total number of employed in January reached 603,050 compared with 591,550 in January 2004. About 18,450 people were reported unemployed in January, compared with 22,150 who were jobless in the state in January 2004.

The January jobs report showed a year-to-year decline in telecommunications, hospital and government jobs. The trade and transportation, educational and health, and arts and entertainment sectors experienced sizeable year-to-year job gains.

On a nonseasonally adjusted basis, the Big Island's jobless rate in January fell to 3.2 percent, versus 3.9 percent last year. Honolulu's rate fell to 2.8 percent, compared with 3.3 percent a year ago. Maui County recorded 2.5 percent, down from 3.2 percent a year earlier. Kaua'i's rate fell to 2.8 percent from 3.5 percent a year ago.

Reach Sean Hao at 525-8093 or shao@honoluluadvertiser.com.