U.S. unemployment rate falls to 6.7% for the second straight month as economy rebounds
Unemployment in Hawaii fell to 6,946, the lowest level since February 2016, according to the Hawaii Department of Workforce Development.
The jobless rate, which was previously 6.5% and 4.9% in November, was the lowest in the state since February 2017.
“It’s a good sign for the economy,” said Jeffery Schoen, chief economist at the Washington, D.C.-based research firm CBPP.
“The labor market is recovering and people are starting to get back to work.”
The unemployment rate for the rest of the country stood at 6.9%.
The Labor Department said the rate for January fell to 5.3% from 5.6%.
It was the largest drop in four months.
Hawaii is a swing state that voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in November.
Hawaii was one of the hardest hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2016.
The state has struggled to recover from the storms.
A total of 7,800 people have been laid off since February and unemployment rose to 10.1% in January, the highest in the country, according, the department.
Hawaii’s unemployment rate of 7.9 percent in January was below the national rate of 8.6% for February, according the Labor Department.
The unemployment for Hawaii’s non-Hispanic whites was at 6%, compared with the national unemployment rate at 11.1%.
Hawaii’s median income rose 3.1%, to $56,948, from $54,567 in January.
It was above the national median of $51,200.
Hawaii had the fourth-lowest poverty rate at 13.2%, according to a survey by the Economic Policy Institute, and the lowest unemployment rate among states in the Midwest at 8.5%.
Hawaii has seen a decline in its economy due to Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Tropical Storm Isaac, which ravaged parts of the state and devastated its tourism industry.
Hawaii has lost about 1.8 million jobs since the beginning of the year.