Hawai‘i County Sees 2.3 Percent Unemployment in March

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Hawai‘i Island is continuing to see low unemployment rates in the first quarter of 2018. For the month of March, the Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) reported a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.3 percent for Hawai‘i Island.

During the same time last year, the unemployment rate was 2.9 percent, according to DLIR. In February, the unemployment rate for Hawai‘i County was reported to be 2.2 percent.

The statewide unemployment rate for March was reported at 2.1 percent—the same for the sixth consecutive month. Statewide, there were 670,500 residents employed and 14,050 unemployed in March amounting to a total seasonally adjusted workforce of 684,550. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in March, which also remained the same from October 2017 through February.


Both initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 56 or -4.6 percent and by 652 or -8.2 percent respectively for unemployment benefits compared to the same month last year. Over-the-month both initial claims and weeks claims also decreased by -8.6 percent and -7.0 percent respectively in March 2018.

In another measure of employment, there was an increase of 200 jobs over-the-month. Among the major industries, job gains occurred in:

Table courtesy of DLIR.

  • Leisure & Hospitality (+600)
  • Trade, Transportation & Utilities (+500)
  • Financial Activities (+400)
  • Education & Health Services (+100)

Compared with one year ago, total non-farm jobs have expanded by 8,200, or 1.3 percent, according to DLIR. Employment in both the Professional & Business Services and Information sectors remained unchanged.


Job losses occurred in:

  • Manufacturing (-100)
  • Other Services (-100)
  • Construction (-700)

Government employment dropped by 500 jobs, with most losses occurring in the Department of Education.

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 methodology. The not seasonally adjusted rate for the State was 1.9 percent in March, compared to the revised rate of 1.9 percent in February.

Graph courtesy of DLIR.

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