Big Island Unemployment Continues Downward Trend

September 6, 2012, 8:05 PM HST
* Updated September 7, 9:06 AM
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Initial unemployment claims across the state decreased by 22.4% this week when compared with filings during the same week in 2011.

According to data just released by the Hawaii state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, there were 1,528 total filings this week compared to 1,969 filings during the same week in 2011.

Around the state, Maui County led the way with a 36% decrease in initial unemployment claims with 116 fewer claims filed, while Kauai County had a 26.7% decrease with 36 fewer claims filed, and Oahu had a 15.8% decrease with 170 fewer claims.

Initial unemployment claims on the Big Island were down 35% with 250 initial claims this week, 135 fewer than the 385 claims during the same week last year.

Broken down by location there were 136 initial claims Hilo and 114 in Kona. (Kona and Hilo are the only two towns in Hawaii County where the state collects data.)


“Initial claims” initiate a determination of eligibility to begin a claimant’s benefit year (new claims) or subsequent period of unemployment (additional claims) within the benefit year.


Although there have been slight variations from week to week for the past three months, initial unemployment claims have overall been on a downward trend since they hit a high of 446 for the week of June 2.

For the past 13 weeks since June 2, there have been a total of 4,442 initial unemployment claims on the Big Island, which corresponds to a weekly average of 341.6 initial claims per week.

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