Hawai‘i County Oct Unemployment Rate 3.5%

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Hawai‘i County’s unemployment rate for October 2018 (not seasonally adjusted) was 3.5%; .5% more than September’s rate of 3% and a full percentage point higher than the same time period last year.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 2.3% compared to 2.2% in September.

Statewide, 670,400 were employed and 15,750 unemployed in October for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 686,100, according to the Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.7% in October, the same as in September.


Initial claims increased by 207 or 16.2%, while weeks claims decreased by 877 or -11.6% for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago. Over-the-month initial claims rose by 12.5% and weeks claims decreased by 3% in October 2018.

Industry Payroll Employment

In a separate measure of employment, total nonfarm jobs increased by 300 in October over September. Among the major industries, there were job gains in Construction (+400), Education & Health Services (+300), Manufacturing (+200), Information (+200), Financial Activities (+100) and Professional & Business Services (+100). Employment in Other Services remained unchanged.

In comparison with October 2017, total nonagricultural jobs have expanded by 10,900, or 1.7%.


Job losses were experienced in Trade, Transportation & Utilities (-400) and Leisure & Hospitality (-500). Government dipped by 100 jobs.

The ongoing labor dispute in the Accommodation sector is not factored into the October estimates, as the strike began after the October pay period utilized by the BLS was already in progress.

The unemployment rate figures for the State of Hawai‘i and the U.S. in this article are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) methodology. The not seasonally adjusted rate for the state was 2.5% in October, the same as in September.


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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