Maui News

Maui County’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 11.5% in April 2021

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Chart Source: Hawaiʻi State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations

Maui County’s unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, dropped to 11.5% in April 2021. It is drastically lower than the 32.9% rate a year ago when the pandemic shutdown much of the island’s economy, and slightly lower than the 12.3% unemployment rate in March 2021, according to information from the Hawaiʻi State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations.

The April unemployment rate breakdown for Maui County: Maui island 11.7%, Molokaʻi 7.8% and Lanaʻi 4.2%.

The April unemployment rates, also not seasonally adjusted, for the entire state of Hawaiʻi (8.1%), Honolulu (7.2%), Big Island (7.9%), Kauaʻi (12.7%) and the United States (5.7%).


The unemployment rate figures for the State of Hawai‘i and the U.S. in this release are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics methodology. (*See explanation below.)

For the State of Hawaiʻi, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 8.5% compared to revised rate of 9.1% in March. Statewide, 594,400 were employed and 55,350 unemployed in April for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 649,750. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.1% in April, up slightly from 6% in March.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits for the month of April was 3,848, an increase of 323 (or 9.2%) from the previous month. The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits for the month of April was 17,819, a decrease of 470 (or -2.6%) from the previous month. 


In comparison to one year ago, initial claims dropped by 11,560 or 76.6% and weeks claimed did spike to nearly 11,000 or 142.5%.

Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey)

In a separate measure of employment, total nonagricultural jobs increased by 10,000 in April over March.  Job gains were experienced in Leisure & Hospitality (+5,500), Construction (+700), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+600), Professional & Business Services (+400), Other Services (+300), and Financial Activities (+100). The expansion in Leisure & Hospitality was robust in both Accommodation and Food Services & Drinking Places, but particularly in Accommodation.  Employment remained stable in Information. 


Job losses occurred in Manufacturing (-100) and Education & Health Services (-500).  Government employment went up by 3,000 jobs, largely due to increased staffing in the Department of Education.  Compared to April 2020 (first month of pandemic effects), nonfarm jobs have risen by 52,300, or 10.3%).  However, in comparison with March 2020 (last month prior to pandemic effects), nonfarm jobs were down by 93,100, or -14.25.

*Seasonal Adjustment

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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