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Hawaii’s jobless rate ties for third-worst in nation

HONOLULU — Hawaii’s unemployment rate dropped significantly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic but was still tied for third-worst in the nation in August.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday the state’s 12.5% seasonally adjusted jobless rate was tied with New York for third-highest in the nation last month. Nevada had the worst rate at 13.2%, while Rhode Island came in second with 12.8%.

The pandemic and measures to control the spread of the virus have forced the shutdown of hundreds of hotels in Hawaii. More than 124,000 people filed for weekly unemployment claims last week.

Hawaii’s jobless rate improved from 13.5% in July and a peak of 23.8% hit in April.

Hawaii led the nation in how dramatically the jobless rate increased compared to August last year. The state’s unemployment rate jumped 9.8 percentage points over a year ago. Nevada was second with a 9.4 percentage-point gain.

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