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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, April 22, 2006

State unemployment rate inches up

By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawai'i's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March ticked up to 2.6 percent from February's 2.5 percent, but the Islands nevertheless continued to lead the rest of the country for the 23rd straight month.

Some of the increased unemployment was triggered by the series of storms that soaked the Islands for most of March, costing 500 construction jobs, said James Hardway, spokesman for the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

"When it rained in the month of March, work on the work sites stopped," Hardway said.

Job losses totaled 300 in the government sector and 200 in education and health services, department officials said.

Nationally, the U.S. unemployment rate dropped from 4.8 percent in February to 4.7 percent in March.

After Hawai'i, the next-lowest unemployment level was in Wyoming, with a seasonally adjusted rate of 2.9 percent.

Last year at O'ahu's largest regular job fair, the WorkForce Job Fair, 182 employers attended. This year, organizers expect more than 200 recruiters for the May 24 event at the Neal Blaisdell Center.

Reach Dan Nakaso at dnakaso@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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