Hawai`i’s Unemployment Rate Sits at 2.1% in January

The Hawai`i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations on Friday announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January was 2.1 percent, the same as the benchmark-revised rate of 2.1 percent for December. Statewide, 668,700 were employed and 14,400 unemployed in January for a total seasonally adjusted labor force of 683,050. Nationally, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in January, the same as in December.

Both initial claims and weeks claims decreased by 21 or -1.4 percent and by 209 or -2.4 percent respectively for unemployment benefits compared to one year ago.  Over-the-month both initial claims and weeks claims increased by 18.3 percent and 8.5 percent respectively in January 2018.

The unemployment rate figures for the State of Hawai`i 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 also 2.1 percent in January, compared to the revised rate of 1.8 percent in December.

In another measure of employment, nonagricultural jobs increased by 1,900 over-the-month. Among the major sectors, job gains occurred in Trade, Transportation, & Utilities (+1,100), Professional & Business Services (+1,000), Leisure & Hospitality (+500), Other Services (+300) and Financial Activities (+100).  Within the Trade, Transportation, & Utilities series, most of the rise is attributed to a smaller release of seasonal retail workers, following less seasonal hiring in the industry late last year. Jobs losses were experienced in Construction (-100), Manufacturing (-100), Information (-100) and Educational & Health Services (-300).  Government employment declined by 500 jobs, with most of the drop in the University of Hawaii System.  In comparison with one year ago, total nonfarm jobs have expanded by 6,600, or 1.0 percent.