Maui Business

Hawai‘i Unemployment Rate at 2%, Record Low

December 22, 2017, 10:34 AM HST
* Updated December 22, 10:38 AM
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The Hawaiʻi State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 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 2.2% rate in October.

On Maui, the unemployment rate was at 2% on Maui Island, up slightly from the 1.9% rate in October and down from the 3% reported at the same time last year. Molokaʻi’s rate was 5.2% in November, unchanged from the month before, and down the 7.2% rate reported at the same time in 2016. The island of Lānaʻi reported a 1.6% unemployment rate in November 2017, down from the 2.4% in October, and slightly down from the 1.7% reported in November of 2016.

The County of Maui as a whole had a 2.1% unemployment rate (non seasonally adjusted) for November 2017, up from the 2% rate in October 2017, and down from the 3.1% rate at the same time last year.

Statewide, 670,300 were employed and 14,000 unemployed in November for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 684,350. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1% in November, the same as in October.

Both initial claims and weeks claims increased by 35 or 3.1% and by 131 or 1.8% respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago. Over-the-month initial claims decreased by 8.4% and weeks claims rose by 0.4% in November 2017.


The not seasonally adjusted rate for the State was 2% in November, compared to 1.9% in October.


In another measure of employment, there was a decline of 1,300 nonagricultural jobs over-the-month.

Among the major industries, job gains occurred in Construction (+800), Manufacturing (+200), Financial Activities (+200), and Leisure & Hospitality (+100). Within Construction, the principal source of the employment increase was Special Trade Construction.

Jobs losses were experienced in Information (-100), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-200), Professional & Business Services (-200), Educational & Health Services (-300), and Other Services (-300).


Government employment declined by 1,500 jobs, due of the absence of biennial seasonal general election workers. Compared with November 2016, total nonfarm jobs have grown by 4,900, or 0.8%.

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