East Hawaii News

Employment Rate Steady at 4.1 Percent, Job Market Rises

June 19, 2015, 11:54 AM HST
* Updated June 19, 11:55 AM
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For four consecutive months, the Hawai’i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations has reported an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent in the State of Hawai’i. The rate has been steadily at or near the 4 percent mark since 2014.

On Thursday, state officials announced that 648,750 individuals in Hawai’i were employed in May and 27,400 were not. Together, the numbers make up a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 676,200.

Big Island non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rates are down one-tenth of a percent in May from the previous month. The rate is down 0.8 percent from what it was the same time a year ago.

The nationwide unemployment rate in May was 5.5 percent, up by one point from 5.4 percent in April.

According to the DLIR, initial unemployment claims decreased by about 19.9 percent and weeks claimed have decreased by about 20.5 percent, compared to the same time a year ago. In May, initial claims fell by 3 percent while claims increased by 0.4 percent from April.

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The figures above represent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate figures.

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Non-farm jobs rose by 1,700 from April, according to the DLIR. Employment gains were observed in major industries, including professional and business services by 800, trade, transportation, and utilities by 700, other services by 700, construction by 600, and financial activities by 300.

Job increases for professional & business services were attributed to strong hiring in professional employer organizations. The majority of gains in trade, transportation, and utilities were in the trade sector, with retail and wholesale showing 300 and 200 job gains, respectively.

Educational and health services didn’t see job gains or losses in May.

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In addition, leisure and hospitality and manufacturing has losses of 200 job each. Government jobs saw a decrease of 1,100 jobs, in large part due to the seasonal variation at the Department of Education and the University of Hawai’i system.

In comparison to one year ago, there are 8,500 more seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs.

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