Hawai‘i County Unemployment Rate Down Slightly

June 20, 2016, 9:00 AM HST
* Updated June 20, 11:24 AM
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Big Island Now stock photo. June 2016.

Big Island Now stock photo. June 2016.

The not-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Hawai‘i County for May 2016 was 3.9%, down from last month’s 4% and down from last May’s 4.4%, the Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced last week.


The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state for May was 3.2%, the same as in April.

The not-seasonally-adjusted rate for the state was 3.1% in May, the same as in April.

Statewide, 665,750 were employed and 22,300 unemployed in May for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 688,100.


Both initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 85 or -6.4% and 1,254 or -15.3% respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago. Over-the-month initial claims dropped by 6.% while weeks claims increased by 2.6% from April 2016.



Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in May, down from 5 % in April.

The unemployment rate figures for the state and the US in this release are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics methodology.


Seasonal adjustment, May 2016.

Seasonal adjustment, May 2016.

Seasonal Adjustment

The seasonal fluctuations in the number of employed and unemployed persons reflect hiring and layoff patterns that accompany regular events such as the winter holiday season and the summer vacation season.

These variations make it difficult to tell whether month-to-month changes in employment and unemployment are due to normal seasonal patterns or to changing economic conditions. Therefore, the BLS uses a statistical technique called seasonal adjustment to address these issues.

This technique uses the history of the labor force data and the job count data to identify the seasonal movements and to calculate the size and direction of these movements. A seasonal adjustment factor is then developed and applied to the estimates to eliminate the effects of regular seasonal fluctuations on the data. Seasonally adjusted statistical series enable more meaningful data comparisons between months or with an annual average.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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