Hawai`i Unemployment Numbers Hit Record Low

Hawai‘i’s unemployment rate fell to a record low in November, according to the latest numbers reported by the Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations.

The Hawai`i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations recently announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 2 percent, compared to 2.2 percent for October. Statewide, 670,300 were employed and 14,000 unemployed in November for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 684,350.

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in November, the same as in October.

“The 2.0 percent unemployment rate is the new historical lowest unemployment rate on record dating back to 1976, under current methodology” said Leonard Hoshijo, Acting DLIR Director.

Both initial claims and weeks claims increased by 35 or 3.1 percent and by 131 or 1.8 percent respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago.  Over-the-month initial claims decreased by 8.4 percent and weeks claims rose by 0.4 percent in November 2017.  The unemployment rate figures for the State of Hawaii and the U.S. in this release are seasonally adjusted, in accordance with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics methodology. The not seasonally adjusted rate for the State was 2.0 percent in November, compared to 1.9 percent in October.

In another measure of employment, there was a decline of 1,300 nonagricultural jobs over-the-month. Among the major industries, job gains occurred in Construction (+800), Manufacturing (+200), Financial Activities (+200), and Leisure & Hospitality (+100). Within Construction, the principal source of the employment increase was Special Trade Construction. Jobs losses were experienced in Information (-100), Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (-200), Professional & Business Services (-200), Educational & Health Services (-300), and Other Services (-300).  Government employment declined by 1,500 jobs, due of the absence of biennial seasonal general election workers. Compared with November 2016, total nonfarm jobs have grown by 4,900, or 0.8 percent.