Maui Business

Maui Unemployment Rate Sees Slight Increase

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state county unemploymentThe Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations announced that Maui’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in August 2015 was 3.2%, up .1% from last month but down .8% for the same time period last year.

Maui County as a whole showed a 3.4% unemployment rate in August, up 1% from the previous month and down .9% from August 2014.

Moloka‘i’s unemployment rate jumped up to 9.2% in August, up .4% from July’s 8.8%, but down 4.3% from the same time last year.

Lāna‘i’s unemployment rate increased by .8% in August—from 2.1% to 2.9% over July—and also showed an increase of .4% over last year’s figure for August.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August 2015 was 3.5 percent, down from 3.7 percent in July. The last time the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was at or below 3.5 percent was in March 2008 when it was 3.4 percent.


Statewide, 649,350 were employed and 23,700 unemployed in August for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 673,050.


Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in August, down from 5.3 percent in July.

August 2015 unemployment.

August 2015 unemployment.

Both initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 266 or -18.2 percent, and 2,220 or -22.9 percent respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago.

Over-the-month, both initial claims and weeks claims also decreased by -8.4 percent and -6 percent respectively from July 2015.


The unemployment rate figures for the State of Hawai‘i and the US in this release are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) methodology. The not seasonally adjusted rate for the state was 3.3 percent in August, the same as in July.

Unemployment, Non Seasonally Adjusted, Aug. 2015. Graphics by Wendy Osher/ Maui Now.

Unemployment, Non Seasonally Adjusted, Aug. 2015. Graphics by Wendy Osher/ Maui Now.

Seasonal Adjustment

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. Therefore, the BLS uses a statistical technique called seasonal adjustment to address these issues. This technique uses the history of the labor force data and the job count data to identify the seasonal movements and to calculate the size and direction of these movements. A seasonal adjustment factor is then developed and applied to the estimates to eliminate the effects of regular seasonal fluctuations on the data. Seasonally adjusted statistical series enable more meaningful data comparisons between months or with an annual average.

For the complete report, go online.

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