Maui’s Unemployment Rate at 5.6% in January

March 15, 2013, 10:17 AM HST · Updated March 15, 11:43 AM
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Courtesy photo.

Courtesy photo.

By Sonia Isotov

The Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations today announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January on Maui was 5.6%, compared to the revised rate of 5.0% in December.

One year ago for the same month of January 2012, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.8%, or a 1.1% decrease.

Statewide, the unemployment rate in January was 5.2%, compared to the revised rate of 5.1% in December. Statewide, there were 618,350 employed and 33,850 unemployed in January, for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 652,200.

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Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.9%, up from 7.8% in December.

In a separate measure of employment, total seasonally adjusted non-agricultural jobs declined in January 2013 by 400 over-the-month statewide. No Maui statistics are available from DLIR for these figures. Within industry sectors, statewide job gains were experienced in Construction (+600), Professional & Business Services (+600), and Other Services (+500) categories.

Since the second quarter of 2012, statewide construction employment has trended upward. According to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, in the fourth quarter of 2012, there was an over-the-year increase of 49.5.% in the issuance of private building permits.

In January over December, statewide job losses occurred in Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-600), Leisure & Hospitality (-500), Manufacturing (-200), Financial Activities (-200), and Educational & Health Services (-200).

The largest statewide drop within Trade, Transportation, & Utilities took place in Retail Trade. Within Leisure & Hospitality, job losses were concentrated in Food Services & Drinking Places. In the public sector, employment remained stable over-the-month.

Compared with January 2012, among major industry sectors, there has been prominent statewide job expansions in Leisure & Hospitality (+2,700), Construction (+2,300), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+2,200), and Professional & Business Services (+1,900).

The seasonal fluctuations in the number of employed and unemployed persons reflect hiring (and layoff) patterns that accompany regular events such as the winter holiday season and the summer vacation season. These variations make it difficult to tell whether month-to-month changes in employment and unemployment are due to normal seasonal patterns or to changing economic conditions. To deal with such problems, a statistical technique called ‘seasonal adjustment’ is used by the DLIR.

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