The U.S. unemployment rate finally fell below 9% in February to 8.9%. It’s the first time unemployment has been this low since April 2009, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The drop occurred between January and February.
Apparently, the change occurred thanks to the addition of 192,000 jobs in the private sector in February. These jobs were most prominently found in manufacturing, construction, health care and service-providing industries. The fact that construction was on this list is great news for the housing market, although part of those numbers are certainly due to commercial construction in addition to residential.
An interesting bit of news from the report is that both state and local government jobs declined in February. Perhaps the recovery of the private sector will need to strengthen before government budgets can afford to sustain their number of positions.
As for Hawaii, the most recent data for our jobless rate comes from December, when it was 6.4%, according to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
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