Maui Business

Maui County Unemployment Rate Sees Slight Increase

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DLIR graphic.

DLIR graphic.

The Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations released unemployment rate statistics for January 2016.

The unemployment rate for Maui County (not seasonally adjusted) is 3.3%, up slightly from the previous month’s 3.1%, but down a full percentage point from last January’s 4.3%.

The unemployment rate for the Island of Maui is also 3.3% for January, up from 3% in December and down from January 2015’s 4.2%.

Lāna‘i fared the best in Maui County with 2.8% unemployment, down from 3.9% last month and down from 3.5% last January.

Moloka‘i continues with the highest unemployment rate in the county—6.3%, down slightly from last month’s 6.6%, but down significantly from last January’s 8.5%.


The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state as a whole in January was 3.2%, down from the revised rate of 3.3% in December 2015. The last time the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was at 3.2 percent was in January 2008.


Statewide, 662,650 were employed and 21,550 unemployed in January for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 684,250.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in January, down from 5.0 percent in December 2015.

Both initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 426 (-23.9%) and 2,939 (-29.5%) respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago. Over the month, both initial claims and weeks claims increased by 8% and 5& respectively from December 2015.

The unemployment rate figures for the state and the US in this DLIR release 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 January, up from 2.9% in December 2015.

In another measure of employment, total nonagricultural jobs expanded by 2,300 in January over December. Within major industry sectors, there were job gains in:
Leisure & Hospitality +1,300
Trade, Transportation, & Utilities +1,200
Construction +600
Professional & Business Services +500
Financial Activities +500
Educational & Health Services +500
Manufacturing +400 and Other Services +200.

Most of the rise in Leisure & Hospitality occurred in Food Services & Drinking Places, while the majority of job expansion in Trade, Transportation and Utilities took place in Retail Trade (primary) and Wholesale Trade (secondary). Employment in Government went down by 2,800 jobs, largely in the Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i System. In comparison with one year ago, total non-farm jobs have gone up by 11,900, or 1.9%.

Note on 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.

To read the entire report, go online.

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