U.S. jobless rate falls; Hawaii jobless claims down, too - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

U.S. jobless rate falls; Hawaii jobless claims down, too

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Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

In the best unemployment report in years, the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to 7.5 percent despite more than 200,000 more people looking for work.

The one tenth decline in the jobless rate in April brings it to the lowest level in five years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington reported Friday.

At a time of declining government employment, and without the creation of manufacturing jobs, the economy ended the month with 165,000 more jobs than it started with.

Job creation was also revised upward for both February and March.

The number of people searching for work grew by 210,000, suggesting that discouraged workers were re-entering the market and finding work – or else the jobless rate would have risen.

Hawaii claims fall

Here in the islands, first-time applications for unemployment compensation have fallen for the fourth week in a row, driven by declines in Honolulu, on the Big Island and on Kauai and Molokai.

There were 1,653 new claims last week, the Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations reported Thursday, down from 1,787 the week before. The last peak was 2,048 in the second week of April.

Claims rose by nine, to 205, in the Wailuku office, but otherwise the downtrend could be seen across the islands including both the Hilo and Kona sides of Hawaii County.

Claims often fluctuate from week to week, so several declines in a row is potentially good news.

Total claims, including repeat filings by people who began getting unemployment checks earlier, fell for the third week, to 11,530 statewide, with declines on all islands.

The Hawaii figures were posted a few hours after the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington surprised economists with 324,000 new claims nationwide, down 18,000 from the week before. Analysts had not been expecting any decline, and instead got the smallest number in five years.

The outplacement consulting firm Challenger Gray said companies were cutting back on layoffs as the economy improved.

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