Unemployment rate drops to 6.5%
HONOLULU - Hawaii's unemployment rate declined slightly to a seasonally adjusted 6.5 percent in January from 6.6 percent a month earlier.
The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said the tourism and hospitality industry added the most jobs, followed by the professional and business services sector.
Department Director Dwi-ght Takamine said in a statement Monday that tourism is fueling the state's economic recovery.
He said the creation of jobs and a sharp drop in initial unemployment claims indicates that positive momentum is moving the economy forward.
Hearing on wage overpayment set
HONOLULU - A Senate committee is holding a hearing to learn more about state employees' salary and wage overpayments.
The hearing was scheduled in response to a recent investigation that found that the state had overpaid workers more than $2 million.
The Senate Special Committee on Accountability was to meet Tuesday afternoon to consider resolutions asking the state auditor to conduct audits of Hawaii agencies to assess the scope of the overpayments.
Committee Chairwoman Donna Mercado Kim said she intends to examine payroll and sick leave procedures. She also wants to look into statutes that deal with recovering the overpayments.
The testimony from the hearing will help the committee determine what action to recommend to the full Senate, Kim says.
Work-from-home scam is reported
HONOLULU - The FBI in Honolulu is warning the public about a work-from-home scam that involves victims receiving counterfeit checks.
The FBI said Tuesday that there has been a recent uptick in complaints about a scam where someone who responds to a work-from-home ad is instructed to deposit a check and wire a portion to accounts controlled by defrauders.
The intention is for the wire transfer to go through before the bank notifies the victim the check is worthless.
In one instance, a Kauai woman refused to send the wire transfer and received a threatening email claiming to be from an actual agent in Honolulu. The email included a photo of the special agent. She contacted the FBI, who confirmed the email was a fake. The FBI believes these scams originate from Nigeria.