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2.2% Hawai‘i Unemployment Rate, Lowest on Record

November 16, 2017, 12:29 PM HST · Updated November 20, 11:41 AM
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The Hawaiʻi State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations today announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 2.2%. That’s the lowest unemployment rate on record dating back to 1976, under current methodology, according to Department director Linda Chu Takayama. It’s down slightly from the 2.5% rate in September.

Maui Now graphic.

Here on Maui, the unemployment rate was even lower with Maui Island reporting a 1.9% unemployment rate for October, down from the 2.4% rate in September and the 2.9% reported at the same time last year. Molokaʻi’s rate was 5.1% in October, down from the 6.7% rate the month before, and the 9.6% rate reported at the same time in 2016. The island of Lānaʻi reported a 2.4% unemployment rate in October 2017, down from the 4.3% in September, and down from the 4.1% reported in October of 2016.

The County of Maui as a whole had a 2.0% unemployment rate (non seasonally adjusted) for October 2017, down from the 2.6% rate in September 2017, and down from the 3.2% rate at the same time last year.

Statewide, 671,450 were employed and 15,150 unemployed in October for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 686,600. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1% in October, compared to 4.2% in September.

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Both initial claims and weeks claims increased by 74 or 6.1% and weeks claims increased by 247 or 3.4% respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago. Over-the-month both initial claims and weeks claims also increased by 10.7% and 0.4% respectively in October 2017.

The unemployment rate figures for the State of Hawaii and the U.S. in this release are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics methodology. The not seasonally adjusted rate for the State was 1.9% in October, compared to 2.4% in September.

In a separate measure of employment, total nonagricultural jobs decreased by 500 in October over September. Among the major industries, there were job gains in Leisure & Hospitality (+1,000), Construction (+800), and Information (+200). The bulk of the employment increase within Leisure & Hospitality occurred in Food Services and Drinking Places. Jobs in Other Services remained stable. Jobs losses were experienced in Manufacturing (-100), Financial Activities (-300), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-500), Professional & Business Services (-500), and Educational & Health Services (-600). Government employment declined by 500 jobs, primarily in State Government (-400, slightly below average seasonality at the Department of Education and the University of Hawaii system). Compared with one year ago, total nonfarm jobs have grown by 7,100, or 1.1%.

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