Big Island Unemployment Rate at 3.4% in January

March 17, 2017, 1:25 PM HST
* Updated March 17, 1:27 PM
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January 2017 unemployment figures for the State of Hawai‘i.

The state’s unemployment rate in January 2017 was 2.8%, the lowest rate since July 2007, the Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations revealed in a  report released last week.

The unemployment rate for Hawai‘i County was 3.4% in January, up slightly from December 2016’s 3.1% and down .4% from January 2016.

The DLIR  announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state in January decreased .1% from December 2016’s  2.9%

Statewide, 673,850 were employed and 19,700 unemployed in January for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 693,550.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.8% in January, compared to 4.7% in December.


Both initial claims and weeks claims increased by 170 or 12.5% and 1,534 or 21.8% respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago.


Over-the-month, both initial claims and weeks claims also grew by 10.5% and 9.9% respectively in January 2017.

These unemployment rate figures for the State of Hawai‘i and the U.S. are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) methodology.

The not-seasonally-adjusted rate for the state was 2.9% in January, compared to 2.6% in December.


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.

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