Hawai‘i Unemployment Holds Steady at 2.7% in July

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Hawai‘i’s unemployment rate fell slightly from last month, continuing a steadily decreasing trend over the last two years.

The Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July 2017 was 2.7 percent statewide, compared to the revised rate for June of 2.8 percent. Throughout the state, 674,450 were employed and 18,650 unemployed in July for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 693,100.

“Hawai‘i’s economy continues to maintain a low 2.8 percent average unemployment rate for the first seven months of this year compared to 3.0 percent in 2016,” said Linda Chu Takayama, director of DLIR.

Hawai‘i’s latest numbers rank slightly higher than the nationwide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.3 percent in July, compared to 4.4 percent in June.

Graphic courtesy of DLIR.


Both initial unemployment claims and weeks claims for unemployment benefits increased in Hawai‘i by 4 percent and by 7.7 percent respectively, compared with one year ago. In June 2017, over-the-month initial claims and weeks claims rose by 8.8 percent and 2.3 percent respectively.

Unemployment figures for the State of Hawai‘i and the U.S. are seasonally adjusted rates, in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The not seasonally adjusted rate for the State of Hawai‘i was 2.5 percent in July, compared to 3.3 percent in June.

In other measures of statewide employment, DLIR reported that total nonagricultural jobs increased by 2,400 over-the-month. Job gains also occurred in the sectors of educational and health services (+2,300), trade, transportation and utilities (+1,800), professional and business services (+500), other services (+200), information (+200), manufacturing (+100) and financial activities (+100). Compared with one year ago, total non-farm jobs have expanded by 8,100.


The rise in educational and health services employment was attributed to the transition of state-run community hospitals to the private sector in Maui County. Within the trade, transportation and utilities grouping, job expansion occurred among numerous sub-sectors of retail trade.

The construction industry experienced job losses (-300) as well as the leisure and hospitality grouping (-300). Government employment decreased by 2,200, mostly a result of the aforementioned transition of health services in Maui County.

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