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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hawaii unemployment slightly rises in January to 6.9 percent

Advertiser Staff

Hawaiçi’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was slightly higher in January, rising to 6.9 percent.
That compared with December’s 6.8 percent. During the month there were 43,450 people without work, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
Hawaiçi’s unemployment rate has been around the 7.0 percent range over the past year as layoffs and company closures take their toll on the state’s workforce.
Hawaiçi’s joblessness compared with the 9.7 percent rate nationally during the month.
The state also released nonseasonally adjusted jobless numbers for each island. The rate was higher for each island except for Maui and Lanaçi.
Honolulu’s rate jumped from 5.3 percent in December to 6.0 percent in January.
Hawaiçi County’s rate rose to 9.9 percent, or 0.5 percentage points more than a month earlier.

Kauaçi rose to 9.1 percent from 8.7 percent.
Maui fell to 8.5 percent, or 0.1 percentage point less than in December.
Molokaçi continued to have the state’s highest unemployment at 15 percent. That compared to 11.6 percent a month earlier.
Lanaçi fell 0.3 percentage points to 8.3 percent.
“With many of our residents out of work, it is critical that the Legislature pass immediate and meaningful legislation that will help private businesses create and retain jobs," Gov. Linda Lingle said in a statement today following the release of the unemployment numbers. "My administration has proposed comprehensive legislation to encourage businesses to hire new employees, including providing tax credits for the creation of new jobs and developing ‘green’ jobs through Hawai‘i Clean Energy Investment bonds to finance energy efficiency projects.

“At the same time, I have directed my Cabinet to move forward on job creation programs that do not require legislation. These include Hawai‘i Premium Plus, which would reimburse employers for the cost of health care premiums for new hires, as well as the Volunteer Internship Program that would allow people on unemployment to work for or volunteer their time with a prospective employer.”