Big Island Unemployment Slightly Rises in April

May 20, 2016, 12:50 PM HST
* Updated May 20, 3:55 PM
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File photo.

File photo.

Hawai’i’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was at 3.2 percent in April, up by a tenth of a percent from 3.1 percent in March.

The Hawai’i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations announced the updated statistics on Friday.

Throughout the state, 667,950 individuals were employed in February, while 21,900 individuals were listed as unemployed. These numbers make up a total seasonally adjusted labor force number of 689,850.

Nationally, the unemployment rate in April was 5 percent, the same rate reported in March.

Initial unemployment claims have decreased by 3.5 percent and weeks claimed have decreased by 17.1 percent, compared to last year. Over the month of April, initial claims increased by 4.5 percent while weeks claimed increased by 3.3 percent from March’s numbers.


The non-seasonal adjusted rate for Hawai’i was 3.1 percent in April, down from 3.2 percent in March.


On the Big Island, non-seasonally adjusted unemployment increased by a tenth of a percentage point to 4 percent.

Since April 2015, however, the Big Island’s unemployment rate has dropped by 0.8 percent from 4.5 percent.

This chart shows the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the State of Hawai’i between April 2014 and April 2016. DLIR image.

This chart shows the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the State of Hawai’i between April 2014 and April 2016. DLIR image.

Hawai’i County continues to hold the highest unemployment rate of all counties, according to DLIR statistics.


Kauai holds the second highest at 3.6 percent in April, followed by Maui County with a rate of 3.2 percent.

Maui County’s overall unemployment rate dropped from 3.4 percent, which had been held since January. Lanai, within Maui County, had a skyrocketed unemployment rate of 9 percent, up from 5.3 percent in March. The island has the highest unemployment rate when broken down by island. Molokai followed with the second highest unemployment rate by island at 5.9 percent, up three-tenths of a percent from the month prior.

DLIR reports that an increase of 4,900 non-agricultural jobs were seen during the month of April, compared to March.

Statewide, the DLIR says that job expansion was seen within a handful of sectors: Leisure & Hospitality (+800), Educational & Health Services (+200), Construction (-300), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-600), and Professional & Business Services (+1,300).

Government jobs reportedly increased by 2,500, compared to last year.

Total non-farm jobs have increased in the state by 2.0 percent, totaling 12,600 jobs, compared to the same time period in 2015.

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