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Hawaii's unemployment rate drops to 4.5 percent as food services industry adds jobs

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HONOLULU — Hawaii's unemployment rate dropped to a seasonally adjusted 4.5 percent last month, down 0.1 percentage points from February.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent in March.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Thursday the food services industry added jobs, as did the education and health services sectors.

The department says the size of state's labor force also rose to more than 658,000, a record.

Hawaii County's jobless rate stood at a non-seasonally adjusted 5.9 percent — the highest of any county. Kauai's rate was 5.3 percent, Maui's 4.9 percent and Honolulu's 4 percent.

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