Hawai‘i Unemployment Rate Hits Record Low in October

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Hawai‘i’s unemployment rate has fallen to a record low in October, according to the latest numbers reported by the Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR).

DLIR announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2017 was 2.2 percent, compared with 2.5 percent in September. Statewide, 671,450 residents were employed and 15,150 reported no employment in October, resulting in a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 686,600.

Nationwide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in October, compared with 4.2 percent the month before.


“It is great news that October’s unemployment rate of 2.2 percent is the lowest on record,” said Gov. David Ige. “This is partly a reflection of robust visitor numbers thanks to increased flights to the islands. We want to keep the momentum going as we develop an innovation economy — creating at least 80,000 new high tech, innovation, higher wage jobs by 2030. We will continue to combine local entrepreneurship with cutting edge technology and innovative thinking to develop talent, create jobs and keep our children in Hawai‘i.”

According to DLIR Director Linda Chu Takayama, the 2.2 percent unemployment rate is the lowest on record dating back to 1976.

Initial claims increased by 6.1 percent and weeks claims increased by 3.4 percent for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago. Over-the-month initial claims and weeks claims also increased by 10.7 percent and 0.4 percent respectively in October 2017.

Graphic courtesy of DLIR.


The unemployment rates reported by DLIR are seasonally adjusted in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) methodology. The non-seasonally adjusted rate for the State of Hawai‘i was reported to be 1.9 percent in October, compared with 2.4 percent in September.

In a separate measure of employment data announced by DLIR, total nonagricultural jobs decreased by 500 in October since September. Among the major industries, jobs grew in Leisure & Hospitality (+1,000), Construction (+800), and Information (+200).

Jobs in Other Services remained stable.


Jobs losses were experienced in Manufacturing (-100), Financial Activities (-300), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-500), Professional & Business Services (-500), and Educational & Health Services (-600), as reported by DLIR.

Government employment declined by 500 jobs, primarily in State Government (-400, slightly below average seasonality at the Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i system).

Compared with one year ago, total nonfarm jobs have grown by 7,100, or 1.1 percent.

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