Hawai‘i Island May Unemployment Rate 3.3%

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The Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced that the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) for Hawai‘i Island in May 2017 was 3.3%, slightly higher than the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.7%.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the State of Hawai‘i in May 2017 was 2.7%, the same as in March and April of this year.

Hawai‘i Island’s rate was .1% higher than its April rate but .5% lower that the May 2016 rate.

Statewide, 678,300 were employed and 19,150 unemployed in May for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 697,450.


“Hawai‘i’s economy is holding firm at a low 2.7% unemployment rate for a third consecutive month,” said DLIR Director Linda Chu Takayama.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.3% in May, compared to 4.4% in April.

Hawai‘i unemployment stats, May 2017. DLIR graphic.

Statewise, both initial claims and weeks claims increased by 11 or .9% and by 781 or 11.2% respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago. Over-the-month, both initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 4.7% and 2% respectively in May 2017.


The 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.

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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