COPY-Hawaii unemployment drops to 4.4 percent in April

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii state officials say the unemployment rate on the islands was 4.4 percent in April, down from 4.5 percent in March and 4.8 percent in April last year.

The Department of Labor & Industrial Relations said Thursday that 3,300 jobs were added in nonagricultural sectors. About 1,600 jobs were in leisure and hospitality, while 600 were in education and health services.

Statewide, the total labor force was more than 660,000 people, including 631,000 who were employed and more than 29,000 unemployed.

Unemployment has consistently declined the last two years in Hawaii from 6 percent in April 2012. State officials say unemployment hasn't been at 4.4 percent since August 2008.

The national unemployment rate for April was 6.3 percent, down from 6.7 percent in March and 7.5 percent in April 2013.

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