Hawaii’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.5 percent in January, the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Monday.
The January jobless rate was one percentage point lower than December’s, which was 6.6 percent, and two percentage points lower than a year ago, when it was 6.7 percent.
The national unemployment rate in January was 8.3 percent, down from 8.5 percent in December and 9.1 percent in January 2011.
The total number of seasonally adjusted jobs in Hawaii increased by 4,400 over the past year, with the largest gain in the leisure and hospitality sector, reflecting the increase in tourism, state officials said.
Initial unemployment claims fell 13.5 percent in January and the total weeks claimed fell 9 percent, compared to a year ago.
“This is another reflection that indicates that our state is continuing to recover from the Great Recession,” state Labor Director Dwight Takamine said in a statement. “While the tourism industry is fueling our overall recovery, the ongoing expansion of the business sector and the precipitous drop in initial unemployment and total weeks claims clearly indicate the positive momentum moving our economy forward.”