Maui Business

Hawai‘i Sees Lowest Unemployment Rate Since Jan. 2008

December 18, 2015, 9:43 AM HST
* Updated December 18, 1:12 PM
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Graphic by Wendy Osher.

Graphic by Wendy Osher.

Maui County’s unemployment rate for November 2015 is 3.4%, down slightly from last month’s 3.6% and down considerably from last November’s 4.2% (not seasonally adjusted).

Maui Island is at 3.2%, down slightly from last month’s 3.3% and down from last November’s 3.9% (not seasonally adjusted).

Moloka‘i kept it ranking as the island with the highest unemployment at 8.2%. However, the figure is down from last month’s 9.7% and down significantly from last November’s 13.7% (not seasonally adjusted).

Lāna‘i’s unemployment rate for November is 4%, down from last month’s 6.1% but up from last Novermber’s 2% (not seasonally adjusted).

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 3.2%, down from 3.3% in October, the Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations announced yesterday.


The last time the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was at 3.2% was in January 2008.


Statewide, 657,800 were employed and 22,100 unemployed in November for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 679,900.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5% in November—the same as in October.

Both initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 353 or -25.5% and 2,341 or -26.2% respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago. Over-the-month initial claims and weeks claims also decreased by -10.7% and -3.5% respectively from October 2015.


These unemployment rate figures for the State of Hawai‘i and the US are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics methodology.

The not seasonally adjusted rate for the state was 3.2% in November, down from 3.4% in October.

Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey)
Total nonagricultural jobs increased by 1,000 in November over October. Within the major industry sectors, there was job expansion in construction (+600), educational and health Services (+400), leisure and hospitality (+200), financial activities (+100), and other services (+100). Job loss occurred in manufacturing (-100), professional and business Services (-100), and trade, transportation and utilities (-400). Government employment rose by 100 jobs. In comparison with one year ago, total nonfarm jobs have gone up 13,200, or 2.1%.

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.

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