Maui’s Unemployment Rate Sees Slight Decrease

March 24, 2016, 9:22 AM HST · Updated March 24, 9:22 AM
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Maui County's not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate.

Maui County’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate. Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations graphic.

The Island of Maui’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in February 2016 was 3.2%, down slightly from last month’s 3.2%, down from last February’s 4% but slightly higher than the state average of 3.1%, the Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations announced today.

Lāna‘i’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for February was 5.8%, up significantly from last month’s 2.8% and up from last February’s 3.7%.

Moloka‘i once again topped the county’s not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment figures, with 8.4% in February 2016. The figure was an increase from last month’s 6.2% but was still lower than February 2015’s 9%.

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The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for

February 2016 was 3.1%, down from 3.2% in January 2016. The not-seasonally-adjusted rate for the state was also 3.1%t in February, down from 3.2% in January.

Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations graphic.

Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations graphic.

The last time the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was at 3.1% was in November 2007.

Statewide, 666,400 were employed and 21,150 unemployed in February, for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 687,550.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9% in February, unchanged from January.

Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations graphic.

Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations graphic.

Both initial unemployment claims for benefits and weeks claims decreased by 329 (-23.4%) and 2,502 (-27.6% respectively compared to one year ago.

Over the month, both initial claims and weeks claims also decreased by -20.4% and -6.7% respectively from January 2016.

Industry Payroll Employment
In a separate measure of employment, there was an increase of 4,700 nonagricultural jobs over the month.

Within major industry sectors, there were job gains in Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+800), Construction (+800), Leisure & Hospitality (+300), Educational & Health Services (+200), Manufacturing (+200), Other Services (+200), and Financial Activities (+100).

Most of the expansion in Trade, Transportation, & Utilities was concentrated in Retail Trade.

Government went up by 2,100 jobs, mostly the result of variation in seasonal shifts in employment at the Department of Education and the University of Hawaii System.

Job losses occurred in Business & Professional Services (-100).

In comparison with February 2015, total non-farm jobs have gone up by 15,600, or 2.5 percent.

Seasonal Adjustment
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 methodology. 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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