Maui News

Maui Island Unemployment Rate 12.7 Percent in February 2021

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Unemployment on the Island of Maui was 12.7 percent in February, down from 14.1 percent the previous month, but still well above the 1.7 percent rate reported in February of last year, prior to the pandemic.  

Statewide, Kauaʻi now has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 12.9 percent; while the island of Lānaʻi has the lowest rate at 4.2 percent.  The data was compiled by the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.  Statewide unemployment was 9.2 percent in February, compared to the national seasonally adjusted rate 6.2 percent. 

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 9.2 percent compared to the revised rate of 10.3 percent in January, according to the latest report from the Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations.

Statewide, 595,200 were employed and 60,150 unemployed in February for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 655,350. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in February, down from 6.3 percent in January.


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 not seasonally adjusted rate for the State was 8.5 percent in February, compared to the revised rate of 9.9 percent in January.

Unemployment Insurance Claims

Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the month of February was 3,389, a decrease of 887 from the previous month. The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits for the month of February was 22,242, a decrease of 5,253.


Weeks claims descended by 19.1 percent due to the exhaustion of the 26-week maximum Unemployment Insurance benefit period and transitioning into the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. In comparison to one year ago, initial claims trended up by 2,272 or 203 percent and weeks claimed grew by 15,999 or 256 percent.

Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey)

In a separate measure of employment, total nonagricultural jobs increased by 1,800 in February over January.


Job gains were experienced in Leisure & Hospitality (+1,400), Professional & Business Services (+1,300), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+700) and Education & Health Services (+200). Most of the rise in Leisure & Hospitality was in Accommodation. Within Professional & Business Services, for the second consecutive month, gains were concentrated in Administrative & Support & Waste Management & Remediation Services.  Employment remained stable in Financial Activities and Other Services.

Job losses occurred in Manufacturing (-100), Information (-200) and Construction (-300). Government employment declined by 1,200 jobs, primarily as a result of smaller than seasonally typical hiring at both the Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i system. Compared to one year ago, nonfarm jobs contracted by 118,000 (-17.8 percent), while compared to March, when the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown orders began, the job count has gone down by 110,900 (-16.9 percent).  


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