East Hawaii News

Big Island Unemployment Rate Slightly Drops

November 19, 2015, 12:39 PM HST
* Updated November 19, 5:39 PM
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Hawai’i’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped slightly in October to 3.3 percent, down one-tenth of a percent from 3.4 percent in September. Over the past three months, the rate has dropped monthly by a tenth of a percent.

The Hawai’i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations announced the relatively flat rate Thursday, noting that the last time the state’s unemployment rate was at 3.3 percent was in February 2008.

This chart shows the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the State of Hawai’i between October 2013 and October 2015. DLIR image.

This chart shows the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the State of Hawai’i between October 2013 and October 2015. DLIR image.

Throughout the state, 677,200 individuals were employed in October, while 22,500 individuals were listed as unemployed. These numbers make up a total seasonally adjusted labor force number of 677,200.

The nationwide unemployment rate in October was 5 percent, down just a notch from September.

Initial unemployment claims have decreased by 23.7 percent and weeks claimed have decreased by 24.3 percent, compared to the same time a year ago. Over the month of October, initial claims dropped by 8.6 percent while weeks claimed decreased by 7.7 percent in the past month.

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The figures above represent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate figures. The non-seasonal adjusted rate for Hawai’i was 3.4 percent in October, down from 3.6 percent in September.

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On the Big Island, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.2 percent. The number shows a two-tenth of a percentage point drop from September numbers, but a drop from five percent in October 2014.

This chart shows not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in State of Hawai’i counties. DLIR image

This chart shows not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in State of Hawai’i counties. DLIR image

Hawai’i County continues to hold the highest unemployment rate, according to DLIR statistics. Kauai hold the second highest at 4 percent.

Maui County’s unemployment rate is at 3.6 percent, spiked by Molokai’s unemployment rate of 9.7 percent, the highest unemployment rate per island.

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DLIR reports that a decline of 2,600 non-agricultural jobs was seen in October, compared to September.

While compared to one year ago, an expansion of 11,900 non-agricultural jobs was noted, an increase of 1.9 percent.

Statewide, the DLIR says that job expansion was seen within a handful of sectors: construction (+1,100), other services (+800), educational & health services (+700), professional & business services (+200), business services (+200), and manufacturing (+100).

In addition to the employment gains, employment losses were seen in three sectors including leisure & hospitality (-400), financial activities (-500), and trade, transportation & utilities (-600).

Government jobs reportedly also increased by 1,000 jobs. Those jobs were at the local, state, and federal levels.

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