Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Hawai‘i Jobs Drop by 121,800 Over-the-Month

May 21, 2020, 9:46 AM HST
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Seasonally adjusted unemployment for April reached a historic increase with a rate of 22.3%.

The Hawai‘i State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced April statistics Thursday morning. With a seasonally adjusted unemployment of 2.4% in March, April’s increase reflects the economic impact of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i.

Statewide, 487,550 were employed and 139,900 unemployed in April for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 627,450. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 14.7% in April, rising from 4.4% in March.

The not seasonally adjusted rate for the State was 23.5% in April, compared to the revised rate of 2.3% in March.


Initial claims for unemployment benefits increased by 13,900 or 1,173% compared to one year ago. Over-the-month initial claims also jumped by 1,250.5% as businesses shut down or reduced operations when the COVID-19 state-of-emergency mandated statewide closures and stay-at-home orders took effect.


Weekly or continued claims went up by 725 or 10.6% contrasted to a year ago. Continued claims swelled to 20.8% in April from March. Because these are consecutive filings, these numbers may remain elevated as initial claims become continued claims in the coming weeks and months.

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