“We have among the lowest unemployment rate for urban areas and as well as across the state as any place in the country,” Abercrombie said. “We’re not falling off any [fiscal] cliffs any more.”
But did he get his numbers right?
Hawaii is tied with Vermont as the state with the eighth lowest unemployment rate in October 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Aloha State had an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in October compared to the national rate of 7.9 percent. The state figure dropped 0.2 percent from the previous month.
Compared to other cities, Honolulu’s unemployment rate of 4 percent is also relatively low. Out of 58,519 cities, Honolulu had the 100th lowest rate in a Nov. 28, 2012 analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The state’s unemployment rate has been below the national rate since 2000, according to Eugene Tian, the chief economist at the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
To be fair, the unemployment rate is not uniform among the islands — it’s much higher in the Big Island, Maui and Kauai than in Honolulu, according to data available from the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.
Tian said neighbor islands lost more jobs during the recession and have recovered at a slower rate than Oahu. The rate of recovery most recently, however, has been higher in neighbor islands than in Oahu.
BOTTOM LINE: Abercrombie said that Honolulu has one of the lowest unemployment rates compared to other cities in the U.S. He also said the state of Hawaii has one of the lowest unemployment rates nationally. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civil Beat finds this to be TRUE.
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