Maui’s Unemployment Rate Increases Slightly in March

April 18, 2016, 1:41 PM HST · Updated April 18, 1:42 PM
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unemployment march 2016

March 2016 unemployment graphic by Wendy Osher.

The Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations reported that the unemployment rate for Maui (not seasonally adjusted) in March 2016 was 3.3%, up slightly from the previous month’s 3.1%, but still lower than the 4% reported in March 2015.

Lāna‘i’s unemployment rate in March 20`16 was 5.3, lower than last month’s 5.8%, but higher than last year’s March figure of 3.8%.

Moloka‘i weighed in with the highest unemployment rate in Maui County, with 5.6%, although the figure is significantly lower than last month’s 8.3% and last year’s 7.9%.

Maui County’s unemployment average was 3.4% in March, up from last month’s 3.3% and down from the 4.1% figure reported in March 2015.

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The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state was March was 3.1%, the same as in February.

The not-seasonally-adjusted rate for the state was 3.2% in March, up from 3.1% in February.

Statewide, 668,800 were employed and 21,550 unemployed in March for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 690,300.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5% in March, up from 4.9% in February.

The 3.1% unemployment rate and labor force numbers track DLIR’s current employment growth projection of 2.9% for the state.

Both initial unemployment claims and weeks claims decreased by 231 (down 17%) and 2,035 (down 23.6%) respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago.

Over-the-month, both initial claims and weeks claims increased by 4.5% and .3% respectively from February 2016.

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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