02/13/2014 01:03 pm ET Updated Feb 13, 2014

The Truth Behind Hawaii's Low Unemployment Rate

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To the casual observer, Hawaii's comparatively low unemployment numbers have long been a point of pride.

The state's unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in December compared with a national rate of 6.6 percent in January, according to the most recent data from the state and federal governments. Hawaii's rate is the eighth lowest in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But the official unemployment rate offers an incomplete portrait of what's going on in Hawaii's job market. The Wall Street Journal recently called the unemployment rate one of the

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