East Hawaii News

Big Island Employment Rate Rises

July 21, 2015, 10:37 AM HST
* Updated July 21, 10:41 AM
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While the statewide unemployment rate dipped slightly in June, the Big Island is seeing another set of numbers. The Big Island’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose by nearly an entire percentage during the month of June from 4.8 percent to 5.5 percent.

This chart shows a breakdown of unemployment rates throughout the state. DLIR courtesy image.

This chart shows a breakdown of unemployment rates throughout the state. DLIR courtesy image.

The Hawai’i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations reports numbers that show that the Big Island’s spike in unemployment is second to Molokai in Maui County, who saw an increase in unemployment of 2.1 percent in June from May.

Among all counties, however, Hawai’i County has the worst unemployment rate. Kauai is second at 4.8 percent.

Compared to one year ago, Hawai’i County unemployment, despite rising over the past month, is down by an entire percentage point.

Hawai’i’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the month of June was down by 0.1 percent to 4 percent from the 4.1 percent held for the first five months of the year.


Officials said on Monday that throughout the state, 648,850 individuals were employed in June, while 26,850 individuals were not. These numbers make up a total seasonally-adjusted labor force number of 675,700.


The nationwide unemployment rate in June was 5.3 percent, down two-tenths of a percent from 5.5 percent in May.

Initial unemployment claims have decreased by about 21.3 percent and weeks claimed have decreased by about 24.2 percent, compared to the same time a year ago. However, over the month of May, initial claims rose by 4.9 percent as weeks claimed decreased by 1.5 percent.

The figures above represent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate figures.


According to the DLIR, an increase in jobs for a variety of sectors occurred over the month of June. One of the major increases were construction jobs, which increased by 1,200. DLIR attributes the growth in the areas of heavy and civil engineering Construction to the rise.

Among the other sectors with increases were leisure and hospitality (+500), educational and health service (+400), trade, transportation, and utilities (+200), manufacturing (+200), and financial activities (+100).

Two areas that saw job losses were in the professional and Bbsiness services sector, where a decrease of 1,900 job was seen. The other services category also saw a loss in jobs by 400.

Information for professional employer organizations within the professional and business services sector did not report their numbers in time for the unemployment rate report. This may have affected the outcome of the loss in jobs number in the report.

Gains in government employment were made in June as the employment number rose by 600 jobs. Within the government sector, all levels experienced gains, including state (+300), federal (+200), and local (+100).

As compared to one year ago, an expansion of 9,600 non-agricultural jobs has been seen.

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